Today, more and more of one’s life is taken up by or expressed on digital devices in California. Television is available on any device and reading an actual hard copy book is becoming less common. People send e-mails and e-cards in lieu of actual cards or letters. In this age of electronics, there is still one document that is best if crafted on actual paper; that is a last will and testament.
Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, disclosed in her recent memoir that she had filmed a last will and testament out of fear for her life following threats that she received against herself and her young daughter. The video document was thorough and detailed in the instructions for the dispensation of her estate and the care of her daughter. There is one significant problem — the document may not hold up in court.
In California, an electronically recorded will may not be admissible for probate. There are exceptions, including in circumstances where it would be difficult to execute a written one. One example of this would be a soldier in a war zone recording the document on a battlefield. Wills typically require original signatures from the maker and witnesses attesting to the maker’s state of mind at the time the document is created. This is to protect all parties from any possible fraud.
Another lesson to be taken from Ms. Clifford’s experience is that the creation of a will shouldn’t wait until a possible crisis arises. A person in California who is considering writing a will may wish to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. The lawyer can review all the aspects of a person’s estate to best ensure that one’s final wishes will be successfully carried out.