A video Will, in and of itself, is not valid in Florida. However, there are circumstances where people opt for a video Will in addition to a written Will. The video either shows the Will signing ceremony, or shows the Will maker reading and explaining the Will, or both.
There are advantages and disadvantages to videotaping your Will. Here’s a brief overview:
- A video Will allows you to communicate your final wishes to your loved ones in a way that’s more personal than written words on a page, and it lets you explain any provisions in your Will that might raise questions or concerns.
- If you fear the possibility of a Will contest, a video Will can show that all the required formalities for signing the Will were met and it can be used as evidence that you were mentally competent to make your Will.
- If there’s any question of your mental competence, your video Will can be used against you. For example, if you’re suffering from a severe or debilitating illness, the camera might not show you in your best light, and the video might be used as evidence of mental incompetence.
- Technology changes – fast. This means that what serves today as a perfectly acceptable format for preserving your reading or signing of the Will on video might become obsolete within a few years.
Before you decide to videotape your Will, make sure to get a lawyer’s advice. What seemed to be a good idea at the time might later turn out to have unintended consequences. And, be sure to remember that when it comes to legal formalities, it’s what’s in writing that counts.