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Why making a video Will is just not worth the risk

Author: Craig Hong
2 min read
30 July 2019

Key Takeaways

  • Making a video Will is not always the right choice and can jeopardise the distribution of an individual’s estate if not done properly.
  • A recent test case in Queensland where the legitimacy of a video Will was ruled on in December 2018.
  • If a court is not satisfied a video Will is valid, it will be overwritten by the last written Will a person left.

The temptation to leave a video Will is understandable for those who want to deliver their final wishes themselves, but it is not always a wise choice and may cause additional stress for family and loved ones.

Why video Wills may not be the best option

It is important to understand that a Will drafted by a lawyer will be far superior to a video Will. The lawyer will include customised clauses that take into account all your assets and circumstances.

A lawyer will also fast-track your Will if you require it urgently. The reality is that you should only consider making a video Will in the most extreme circumstances.

Video Wills are very basic

Video Wills do not take into account the finer details such as tax consequences, your personal circumstances and assets.

Video Wills also do not take into account specific instructions an individual may want to give to their executor.

In one case, a Queensland Court in December 2018 ruled that a video Will of a man was valued, but the family incurred substantial costs in having the Will acknowledged.

In order to be certain that your estate and death benefits are paid as you wish, you must have a formal Will and make a binding nomination to your super fund trustee.

Risk the video will be lost

There is a very real risk that there may be no accessible copy of a video Will if precautions have not been taken.

It may be difficult to copy and the digital copy may degrade if stored on a physical medium. There is also the potential for a storage device (USB, laptop, phone or other hand-held device) to be lost.

A Will drafted by a lawyer can be kept in physical and digital form by the individual who the will pertains to and in safe custody through the lawyer’s office if a client so wishes.

Craig Hong and Ian Hillhouse are regular contributors for the leading mining and resources publication Resources Unearthed. They regularly provide advice across a spectrum of often complex legal matters within this sector.

Click here to read the original article in full.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.

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