It is becoming more and more the "norm" in many areas of day-to-day life that in lieu of an original paper copy of a document being given to us during some form of transaction or interaction, the document is instead created and sent to us digitally. Consider for example car rental agreements, sales receipts, monthly phone bills, tickets to a concert or art exhibit, personal income tax returns, charitable donation receipts, etc. It's easy to get in the habit of receiving important documents in this manner, as well as relying on having them at our fingertips and readily available by quickly searching phones, tablets, PCs, external hard drives, cloud storage and email inbox folders, or even accessing these documents online and downloading them if and when needed.
With this flow of digital information, and the ease with which documents can be signed virtually and stored digitally, it is important to recognize and keep track of certain documents for which the original is vital and for which a digital copy is usually not an adequate substitute on its own. Original signed wills (which we will discuss in more detail in this blog post), original signed powers of attorney and original share certificates are all examples of such documents.