The future of digital wills
Paper wills are dead. Instead, a growing number of people are thinking about recording their last will and testament on video, many would like the opportunity to create a video that explains their wishes in a little more detail.
Statistics show that of the 510,000 deaths in the UK each year, roughly 170,000 occur without the deceased having left a will at all — a situation known as intestacy. And even when a will is left, if it isn’t up-to-date or doesn’t cover every eventuality then the result can be a nasty court battle between partners, siblings, children, and close friends of the deceased. So, a great number of people are beginning to believe that recording a video would help avoid these kinds of conflicts.
Under English law, however, a video will can’t yet entirely replace those filed on paper — a will has to be written, it must be signed, and it has to be witnessed by two people at the same time. Videos fail on two of those counts at least, so for the moment a video will stand on its own — it must sit alongside a written version.
That written version, however, can be scribbled on anything — people have written their wills on the back of wristwatches, postage stamps, and even chalked on the back of a door. In fact, in 1954 an American steamboat captain wrote his will on an eggshell and left it on top of a wardrobe in his bedroom. As long as it’s written, signed, and witnessed, it’s valid.
One issue to consider if you’re mulling over the idea of a video will is the format that you store it on. Someone making a video will in the 1970s used Super 8 film. In the 80s, you might have used VHS, or worse — perish the thought — Betamax. Even if your descendants found a machine that can play back antiquated formats, the quality of video stored on magnetic tape will degrade over time, rendering your last words unwatchable.
So instead, some have taken to storing their will digitally, either on their computer or even, following the rise of video sharing sites such as YouTube, or Legacy-Voice.com Of course, the nature of YouTube comments means there are problems with this approach — you’re not guaranteed a loving memorial when people can rate your death out of five stars.
Digital Voice or Video Recorded wills, where is the most secure platform?
The only secure Vault, where only you have access to your personal files when you pass away the files and recordings will only be released to your nominated beneficiaries, you pay a yearly fee with no additional cost when you pass away.