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Is a Video Will Legally Binding in Illinois?

Posted on in Estate Planning Blog

Lombard estate planning attorneyVideo wills are not a new concept. In fact, they have been around since the early 1980s—basically since video cameras became widely available to the general public. You may have even seen one featured in a show or movie, probably used for dramatic effect. Maybe the owner of the fortune cut someone out of the will at the last minute or made conditions through which an heir might receive their fortune. Are they really legally binding, though? More importantly, should you use one for your estate plan? The following explores this interesting and unique option, and provides some details on how to execute it properly, should you decide this is the right option for you. 

Video Wills and Your Family

One of the biggest reasons that individuals decide to read their will on video is because they want to give their family one last memory. For some, it is a way to heal broken bonds. For others, it is a way to comfort from beyond the grave. Whatever your reason, ensure your intentions are pure. No matter how angry or irritated you might be with a member of your family, no matter how distant the two of you might have become, they will still likely grieve losing you. So be sensitive and kind. It will be their last memory of you.

Video Wills and the Law

Though a video may give your family comfort after your death, it will not be considered legally binding on its own. Illinois law requires that a will be written, and it must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. This means that you will likely still need a written document that has been kept in a safe place in addition to your video will. Of course, the video could still be used as evidence to prove that you were of sound mind at the time of creating the will, should any of your family members contest the will’s validity. Still, it is important that you speak with your estate planning attorney to determine what (if any) legal value a video will lend to your situation. 

Contact Our DuPage County Wills and Trusts Lawyers

Regardless of what your wishes are, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Lombard estate planning attorney before drafting your will. Doing so will ensure that local and federal laws are considered, taxation issues are addressed, and your plans are crafted using creative solutions to save your heirs both time and money. Most of all, the experience of a lawyer can help you avoid some of the most common estate planning pitfalls—some of which could significantly decrease the value of your estate. To get started, call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.

 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/03/28/nyregion/videotape-is-being-used-to-record-wills.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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