Estate Planning Lawyer
As a estate planning lawyer from a firm like Yee Law Group, PC can explain, there is no question that the digital age has changed the way we live forever. However, this doesn’t mean that you can fire up your cellphone’s camera, turn it on yourself and proceed to make a video. Virtually all states have laws that invalidate such wills. Instead, a valid will must be in writing, i.e., typed or printed from a computer, and properly signed and dated.
Some states require that you sign your will in front of two witnesses, who then sign their names at the bottom. Other states require you to sign in front of a notary public who signs his or her affidavit at the bottom. Your experienced local estate planning lawyer can explain your state’s requirements to you and then draft a will for you that will comply with them and hold up against any court challenge that anyone wants to bring against you after your death.
Enhancing Your Estate Plan
However, just because you can’t make a valid video will doesn’t mean that making a video can’t serve your overall estate planning goals and objectives. It most definitely can, and more and more people are making such videos that their family members can then view after their deaths.
If you decide to include a video as part of your estate planning process, ask your lawyer if he or she provides such a service and if the video can be made in his or her office, ideally during the signing and witnessing or notarization of your Last Will and Testament. Such a video can serve as graphic evidence that your will was properly finalized.
Another good reason to make a video is that it allows you to give your family a final message from you in your own words. Again, you may wish to make this video at your lawyer’s office, possibly after you make one of your wills. He or she can play the video when your family gathers for the reading of your will and can then give it to whoever you designate as its ultimate recipient.
It’s a good idea to think through what you want to say before the camera is turned on. The more clearly and succinctly you speak to your family via your video, the better they will be able to understand the bequests you made in your will and why you made them. This can not only demonstrate your mental competency, but it can also explain your thinking processes behind each bequest. This can be particularly important if you left differing amounts to your children who might otherwise think they should have inherited equally.