Will digital will replace your paper will?
A recent article from Australia highlights ongoing developments in recent court cases concerning nontraditional wills. (ARTICLE HERE) In some cases, Australian courts have accepted wills that did not meet traditional signature and witness requirements.
In the first case, a gentleman wrote out a will and left it on his computer before committing suicide. His written document laid out a distribution plan between his parents and siblings but was neither witnesses nor signed. In accepting the computer file as a valid will the Australian judge determined that there was sufficient evidence to indicate that the deceased had created it and had intended it to be his final wishes. Among the reasons considered was the fact that the deceased had told people of the document and titled it as a will. Considering these factors, the judge upheld the document as a valid expression of his intent.
In a different case, a separate Australian court accepted written instructions on a smartphone as a valid will. Elsewhere a court accepted a webcam recording as a valid will.
What Will Your Future Digital Will Look Like? The legal developments in Australia may indicate that in the near future your digital “will” may look different from the traditional written document. In some ways that may be helpful, in other ways it could open up a Pandora’s box of issues.
- Will the decisions you make in a last-minute recording be best considered?
- Will your “will” whether the written document, computer file, recording or otherwise be comprehensive enough to address likely issues and problems?
- How expensive will it be to prove that your “will” is your will?
While Technology can make things easier for you it can also make it easier for you to create unforeseen problems. At Estrada-Legal, PC we believe your family is your most important asset. Call us to discuss how we can plan for your and your loved ones.