Is the Video Will Legal?

Many say, in these enlightened times, shouldn’t it be legal to make our wills by digital or at least video means?

You might have heard tales of witty folk who wrote their wills on eggshells; or on the side of a cow; or on the skin of a lemon etc.
However, history fails to record the conclusion of such cases.
There’s a noted case of a will written on a mudguard of a tractor.

‘The formalities set out in the Wills Act do really matter.’

Lord Justice Jacobs, Parks V Clout 2003

The Wills Act is Clear

The Wills Act is clear: a will must be in writing and signed by two witnesses. The challenges of draughting and signing wills during the covid-19 pandemic illustrates our adherence, like flies to honey, to these rules.
Yuen v Wong 2019 demonstrated the requirement ‘in the presence of a witness’ was alas, not satisfied by a video link. It’s but a short hop skip and a step to the video will.

Is the Video Will Legal?
We’re Bound to do Things By The Book

Your Will, Paper or Video

The video will is the blend of the crafts of 2 professionals – the will writer and the video maker.
Write your will – get it attested properly.
And then record your video.
The video will can be a more expansive form of the will. The video version, however, is free of legal constraints, so one can talk for as long as one wishes. The cinematic recording of your will could of course be more than just your will.
It would, therefore, be at best, an electronic statement of wishes. It has no force of law.

Writing Your Will, Making it Legal

Precedent has not made the video an acceptable way to write your will – put another way, how would your executors submit it to the probate registry? So, is at best a corroboratory device in establishing the validity of the intentions of the testator.

To secure your inheritance, do as the law asks.
Write your will properly, on paper, and sign it in the presence of two witnesses.
And, I can help you with that, simply call to make your appointment.

What to read next: Dormant Assets

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