A recording of your last wishes does not constitute a valid Will, at least not when it stands alone. A great many individuals record their Wills anyway, as a safeguard against Will contests and other eventualities that might result in the probate court not honouring their bequests. Video- and audio-recorded wills generally enforce or back up your written Will. If you don’t also leave a written Will, most courts will rule that you died without one.
A written Will can override an oral Will
In most jurisdictions a written last Will and testament that is validly executed will override a voice recording. The voice recording can be used as evidence in a probate court proceeding, but most likely will not be admitted as a last Will and testament itself.
If you still wish to record your will, then it’s best to have one written as well – and then take these vital steps to recording your Will.
A recorded oral Will to back up your written Will
First you should decide what method of recording you will use. You might ask a professional to film a video recording for you, or you might ask a family member to record your voice. Whichever way you choose, ensure that it is clear and professional. Also remember, if you ask anyone who stands to inherit from you to record your will, you’re leaving a door open for other heirs to contest your Will on the foundation that this individual pressured you. Video recordings are usually more useful than audio recordings, because you’re presenting additional photographic proof that you’re of sound mind.
Importance of appearing alert when recording a Will
Decide the time and date to make a Will recording. Try to stay clear of dates that proceed after a big event in your life. Whether you choose an audio recording or a video recording, you’ll want to appear alert, refreshed and capable of making decisions without being manipulated. If there’s any chance you’ll appear or sound exhausted or distracted, reschedule. You don’t want to give your heirs any opportunity to say that you weren’t lucid or of sound mind.
A written Will
A will should be in a written format, signed by yourself and witnesses as required by law. If you have penned an invalid Will, or one with conflicting instructions then this Will may well be contested in a court of law. This can cause family disputes and inflict the tension and expense of a lawsuit on your loved ones.
To avoid challenges to your Will’s validity, you should instruct a solicitor to help you construct a valid Will. Nothing is allowed to be crossed out or amended on the same document that you have signed.
When putting together the document, you cannot leave blank spaces. It is good to have each page numbered as well so no one can tamper with the document.
However, if you wish to change your Will then you need to make a codicil or a new Will, which a solicitor can help you do.
Contact JMR Solicitors for writing your Will
Our Wills and Probate solicitors in Manchester have wide-ranging experience and knowledge across a broad range of personal client matters.
The matters which they resolve and advise on can be complex and distressing for clients, so our team of Will and Probate solicitors will always stay professional and empathetic.
JMR Solicitors have experience dealing with many areas of Wills and Probate law, including, Will writing, Lasting Power of Attorney Advice.
Call us to speak to a solicitor today on 0161 491 3933, contact us via our online contact form or email us on 0161 491 3933.