Creating a Will
A valid will must be in writing and include a creation date with signatures from two witnesses. Video wills are not enforceable, but you may choose to make a video to accompany your will for various reasons.
It Can Provide Proof of Intentions and Sound Mind
Disgruntled family members may try to contest your will in court, hoping to cause the redistribution of your assets. Contesting your will requires someone to prove that you signed it under duress, that you did not understand its contents, or that you structured it using impaired judgment. A video that features you explaining your wishes can counter those arguments.
It Shows Your Capacity for Making Sound Decisions
Suppose you think that your asset distribution choices will disappoint your friends or relatives, who might attempt to persuade the court to overturn your wishes by challenging your mental state. In that case, a video can help counter those accusations. Although a video won’t prevent resentments and hurt feelings, explaining the rationale behind your choices will reveal your motives and capacity for rational decision-making, potentially reducing the risk that someone will contest your will.
It Promotes Transparency
Sometimes, when people are dissatisfied with their share of an inheritance, they will contest a will with an accusation that someone else with a devious motive forged your signature on the document. Most states address this concern by requiring you to participate in a formal will-signing meeting, which involves two witnesses who are not beneficiaries. After watching you sign the will, both witnesses must sign an affidavit acknowledging that you clearly stated the meeting’s purpose, exhibited a clear understanding of the type of document you were signing, and you signed it voluntarily.
Aside from discrediting allegations that your signature is fake, creating a video that includes the will-signing meeting can hinder claims that you, your lawyers, and the witnesses did not adhere to the state’s guidelines for the will’s execution.
To Clarify Your Wishes
You may not trust your family members to honor your wishes regarding your final arrangements, the distribution of your assets, or any other conditions of your will. A video can help clarify the feelings, intentions, and motives surrounding how you choose to allocate your estate. It can also eliminate speculation by the heirs you exclude about what you were thinking.
Video wills by themselves are not legally enforceable, but they are excellent companions to standard wills that can promote your final wishes and possibly prevent family schisms.
Speak with a will lawyer in Fort Collins, CO who can guide you through creating a video will that serves your needs.