In this digital age, we use our mobile phones in almost every aspect of our lives. As a result, the law is now starting to grapple with people attempting to video record their Will on their mobile phone.
In a recent Queensland Supreme Court case, the Judge found that a copy of a video recording of the deceased’s wishes about division of their assets following their death, found on their computer, could be treated as an informal Will.
However, recording your Will by video is not recommended. In the case mentioned above, substantial costs would have been incurred to prove the video recording as a Will. Without the involvement of a lawyer, you could choose language that leaves uncertainty about your intentions, leading to conflict between family members. The wishes you outline could have unintended legal consequences. You don’t know what might be important.
There is a significant risk that a video recording will provide insufficient direction to be able to be treated as an informal Will. If you think you have made a video Will, but it fails, your old Will may apply. You may die intestate and have your assets divided according to a statutory formula. Either way, the end result is likely to be quite different to what you intend.
A professionally drafted Will ensures that your wishes are put into effect on your death. However, a video message to your family can provide comfort to grieving family and may provide an explanation of your intentions, which may become quite important – just make sure you give a copy to the lawyer who prepares your Will!
If you would like to obtain advice in relation to preparing a Will, or other succession planning needs, please contact us to arrange an appointment.