Will a Video Will Hold Up in Court?

What Are Video Wills?

Most states mandate wills be physical documents that are signed, written, and witnessed. However, with the advancement of technology, videotaped wills are growing very popular. In a video will, the will-maker, also known as the testator, usually reads their will out loud in front of a video camera.

While a video will cannot be used as the sole will and testament, it does have its advantages.

Are Video Wills Valid?

It is important to note that a video will, by itself, is not a valid substitute for a written will. The video maker must supply a written copy of their wishes that satisfy the state’s requirements for a valid will. This might be simple to do since the testator is reading a will out loud, denoting that a written copy exists. As long as the written copy satisfies the state’s requirements, the written and video will can be used together to protect the will’s validity.

Even though this type of will might not be seen as the right substitute for a written will, the video will can still serve a useful purpose on its own. A video will can serve as evidence that the testator was competent and of sound mind at the time that the will was made. Such evidence can be used to stop any possible will contests.

Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer to Produce My Video Will?

While producing a video will is a creative and helpful tool in the estate planning process, the video alone is not enough to guarantee the distribution of your estate will be carried out according to your wishes. An estate attorney can help you create a written will that satisfies your state’s will requirements, to fully execute your wishes. Also, several estate lawyers have video rooms in which you can record your will and let you contact loved ones from beyond the grave.