Are Video Wills Legal?
As technology progresses, options for new ways of handling legal matters are developing. Video has become so easily created that the issue of video wills was inevitable. However, Texas courts do not currently consider video wills as legal wills by themselves. If you are seeking to use a video in such a manner it is important that you work with a Bryan estate planning lawyer.
What Are Video Wills?
Video wills are just what the name suggests, videotaped statements of the testator describing his intentions for distributing the assets in his estate. Generally these intentions include a description of assets, the beneficiaries to whom they are to be given, and the name of an executor who will handle the estate during probate. Some states now accept video wills.
Legal Requirements for Texas Wills
Texas estate laws require that a will be in writing and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. The will can be handwritten or prepared by a legal team, but it must be in writing. This makes the matter of a video will somewhat problematic. In itself, a video will is not binding as a last will and testament. A video will may be submitted to probate court, but the judge is still going to want a written document. What the video will can do is show that the testator was of sound mind at the time of the taping, and that the formalities of the will-making were accomplished.
There are numerous reasons why a person would wish to record a video in place of writing a will and having the signing witnessed. The testator:
- May reside in a remote area, far from any attorney
- May not be physically able to visit an attorney
- May not be literate
Regardless of the reason, you simply will need to have some written form of your will submitted into probate; the making of a video will therefore becomes somewhat superfluous. One value that a video will may still have, however, is that it attests to your intent in case a conflict arises among your beneficiaries.
We Can Help You with All Your Estate Planning Needs
The issue of video wills serves as an example of how important it is to work with a Bryan estate planning lawyer when you are putting together your will. Your lawyer will make sure that all documents in your estate plan are legally sound. If you wish to create/update your estate plan, call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.