Are Video Wills Legal?

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Are Video Wills Legal?


2011

Ric Dalberri, Founder of Retirement USA

Are video wills something you should
record?

Would you want your final thoughts to be shown on a video
will? Now that we’re in the technology age, some people choose to read their
Will live before a video camera.

Are video wills legal? Usually, this adds to the written
will where in most states a video must accompany a written will. Be sure that
the written Will is witnessed. This too may be video taped.

Video wills make it difficult to
contest the will.

This is because it shows the mental competency of the person
and the proper signing of the Will. Many use the video wills to provide the
testator’s explanations of how various provisions of the Will should be
interpreted. The testator can at this time explain in detail what he or she
means by certainty what they want so it is clear and to avoid disputes from within
their video wills.

Legal Age:
In many states, 18 is the ‘legal’ age of an adult. Forty Seven States require
that the person making the Will be at least 18. South Dakota requires the Will
maker to be over 18. Louisiana has a
minimum age of 16 and Georgia, 14 years of age. Go figure. Some States say if
you are under 18 and married, you can make a Will. No matter what, everyone
should create a will and a video will or video wills, depending on the number
of persons in your family.

Mental Capacity: Are
video wills legal? The phrase, “Being of Sound Mind and Body”, is essential in
the making of video wills and regular wills that is binding. It means you are
aware that you are executing a will and are familiar with the persons, family
and property mentioned in the Will. You may want to add a doctor’s certificate
or assessment. Video Wills can add to the fact that you are of sound mind and
good health.

Property: The
purpose of a Will is to distribute property to your beneficiaries. Many States
provide the living spouse the opportunity to take a defined portion of the
estate regardless of the Will. Video wills can and will add to the strength of
that will for anyone who sees it. Think about this for a moment. Let’s say that
the people who are receiving things in your will create a legal battle over it.
The whole mess goes to a judge and possibly a jury. If you have a fully
executed legal will and the attorney representing your estate pulls out and
plays the series of video wills you created…case closed!

Spouses: Many
States prohibit the spouse from not being included. Some allow the spouse to a
share of ½ or 1/3 no matter what the Will says. One way to not include a spouse
is through a premarital agreement. However, the courts usually look very
closely at these agreements.

Children: Are
video wills legal?

For minor children, you may want to consider a children’s
trust. It provides financial support until they are adults in the eyes of the
law.

Be careful in selecting a trustee who will manage and
distribute funds.

The trustee must work closely with the guardian. The trustee
and guardian are the same person. If you die without a will, it is called
Intestate and the court will step in to protect the minor children and appoint
a court guardian. For adult children, you can disinherit them with the
exception in the State of Louisiana. A video Will helps support your wishes and
explains clearly what you wanted.

Some States allow the signing of wills without witnesses.
These are hand written Wills signed only by the Will maker. A few States
recognize oral Wills. Video wills certainly are going to support what you are
saying.

Are video wills the best thing to do? No matter what you
choose to do, a written Will Or Trust, be sure to consult with an attorney who
specializes in Wills, Trusts and Estates. You have worked hard for what you
have. Be sure what you want after you leave this world goes where you wished it
to go.

Video wills are also a nice way to look into the ‘eyes’ of
your loved ones one more time to leave them with a personal message. Video wills
also provide a way to explain why you did certain things in your will.

Retirement USA likes to write articles on topics that will
interest you. Please feel free to leave a comment below. We have more articles
that talk about creating wills as well.

No matter what you choose to do, carefully plan out your
steps as this will decrease or eliminate any confusion and legal problems for
your loved ones after you are gone. The last thing anyone wants to deal with
while struggling with grief is to handle legal matters.

In my personal opinion, consulting with an attorney,
planning a trust, writing and signing a will that is witnessed and notarized as
well as preparing all of those documents as legal video wills is the best
possible scenario.

 

 

Are video wills something you should
record?

Would you want your final thoughts to be shown on a video
will? Now that we’re in the technology age, some people choose to read their
Will live before a video camera.

Are video wills legal? Usually, this adds to the written
will where in most states a video must accompany a written will. Be sure that
the written Will is witnessed. This too may be video taped.

Video wills make it difficult to
contest the will.

This is because it shows the mental competency of the person
and the proper signing of the Will. Many use the video wills to provide the
testator’s explanations of how various provisions of the Will should be
interpreted. The testator can at this time explain in detail what he or she
means by certainty what they want so it is clear and to avoid disputes from within
their video wills.

Legal Age:
In many states, 18 is the ‘legal’ age of an adult. Forty Seven States require
that the person making the Will be at least 18. South Dakota requires the Will
maker to be over 18. Louisiana has a
minimum age of 16 and Georgia, 14 years of age. Go figure. Some States say if
you are under 18 and married, you can make a Will. No matter what, everyone
should create a will and a video will or video wills, depending on the number
of persons in your family.

Mental Capacity: Are
video wills legal? The phrase, “Being of Sound Mind and Body”, is essential in
the making of video wills and regular wills that is binding. It means you are
aware that you are executing a will and are familiar with the persons, family
and property mentioned in the Will. You may want to add a doctor’s certificate
or assessment. Video Wills can add to the fact that you are of sound mind and
good health.

Property: The
purpose of a Will is to distribute property to your beneficiaries. Many States
provide the living spouse the opportunity to take a defined portion of the
estate regardless of the Will. Video wills can and will add to the strength of
that will for anyone who sees it. Think about this for a moment. Let’s say that
the people who are receiving things in your will create a legal battle over it.
The whole mess goes to a judge and possibly a jury. If you have a fully
executed legal will and the attorney representing your estate pulls out and
plays the series of video wills you created…case closed!

Spouses: Many
States prohibit the spouse from not being included. Some allow the spouse to a
share of ½ or 1/3 no matter what the Will says. One way to not include a spouse
is through a premarital agreement. However, the courts usually look very
closely at these agreements.

Children: Are
video wills legal?

For minor children, you may want to consider a children’s
trust. It provides financial support until they are adults in the eyes of the
law.

Be careful in selecting a trustee who will manage and
distribute funds.

The trustee must work closely with the guardian. The trustee
and guardian are the same person. If you die without a will, it is called
Intestate and the court will step in to protect the minor children and appoint
a court guardian. For adult children, you can disinherit them with the
exception in the State of Louisiana. A video Will helps support your wishes and
explains clearly what you wanted.

Some States allow the signing of wills without witnesses.
These are hand written Wills signed only by the Will maker. A few States
recognize oral Wills. Video wills certainly are going to support what you are
saying.

Are video wills the best thing to do? No matter what you
choose to do, a written Will Or Trust, be sure to consult with an attorney who
specializes in Wills, Trusts and Estates. You have worked hard for what you
have. Be sure what you want after you leave this world goes where you wished it
to go.

Video wills are also a nice way to look into the ‘eyes’ of
your loved ones one more time to leave them with a personal message. Video wills
also provide a way to explain why you did certain things in your will.

Retirement USA likes to write articles on topics that will
interest you. Please feel free to leave a comment below. We have more articles
that talk about creating wills as well.

No matter what you choose to do, carefully plan out your
steps as this will decrease or eliminate any confusion and legal problems for
your loved ones after you are gone. The last thing anyone wants to deal with
while struggling with grief is to handle legal matters.

In my personal opinion, consulting with an attorney,
planning a trust, writing and signing a will that is witnessed and notarized as
well as preparing all of those documents as legal video wills is the best
possible scenario.