Video wills are an example of the importance of working with an estate planning lawyer Bryan when drafting your will. Your lawyer will make sure that all documents in your estate plan are legally sound. If you would like to create or update your estate plan, call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681. Texas` admissions law requires it to be a state with unilateral consent. In Texas, it is a criminal offense to use a device to record or relay communications, whether wired, oral, or electronic, without the consent of at least one person involved in the communication. This means that in Texas, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor or with the prior consent of one of the parties involved, subject to criminal intent. It is also legal to record electronic communications that are easily accessible to the public. Strafgesetzbuch Ann. § 16.02 (Vernon 2011). It`s as close as the law is to a video in other states, and it`s not at all close to Texas law. Texas does not recognize a video recording as a valid legal will. Texas does not allow digital wills and has not passed anything similar to Florida`s Digital Wills Act.
The cellphone video of your grandmother`s statements is not considered a valid will in Texas (and wouldn`t even qualify under Florida`s new law if she had lived in Florida). It is also a criminal offence to publish footage showing the private parts or sexual behaviour of another person without the consent of the person depicted and with the intent to harm him. It is also illegal if, in the course of the disclosure, the person responsible for the disclosure knows or has reason to believe that the footage was obtained or created in circumstances in which the person depicted could reasonably have believed that the image material would remain private. Section 21.16(b) Therefore, Texas (and most other states) will only recognize promises as wills if the promises are made with these formalities: the promise must be made in writing and show the intention to dispose of the assets after death. The letter must be dated and signed by the testator (the person whose will it is). If it is entirely written by the testator, it is called a holograph will. If it is typed or handwritten by someone else (called a formal will), it must also be signed by two independent witnesses and (if the will is to be treated as self-proven) notarized. The testator must also have the legal capacity for the will to be valid. Texas used to recognize a category of spoken will (called a “nuncupative will”), but the law was changed to eliminate oral wills. Even though they were legal, they could only handle inexpensive personal items. Texas recognizes only two types of wills: a holograph will (handwritten) and a certified will (typed). A will recorded on video has no legal effect in itself.
Therefore, your grandmother died intestate (without a will). Texas law sells their assets based on a complex web of opportunities, based on their relationships. If she was married and all the children are born of that marriage, her property goes to her spouse. If she was married and had children from a previous marriage, the property is divided unequally between those children and the spouse. If there is no spouse, the property goes to their children, etc., etc., etc. The complexity of the law on intestate succession is exacerbated by the cumbersome and costly legal process required to prove exactly who their heirs are. As technology advances, new ways of dealing with legal issues are emerging. Video became so simple that the issue of video wills was inevitable.
However, Texas courts do not currently consider video wills to be a stand-alone will. If you want to use a video in this way, it`s important that you work with an estate planning attorney Bryan. For example, it is illegal to disclose explicit material that depicts your ex-partner without your ex-partner`s consent. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * Texas probate laws require that a will be written and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. The will can be handwritten or prepared by a legal team, but must be made in writing. This makes the question of a video a bit problematic. In itself, a video will as a will is not binding. A video will can be filed with probate court, but the judge will still want a written document. What the video will can do is show that the testator was of sound mind at the time of registration and that the formalities of drafting the will have been completed.
Texas` Video Recording Act was amended in 2015. The new law applies to all allegedly illegal video recordings that allegedly took place after June 18, 2015. This is not called invasive video recording. The new law clarifies several terms and attempts to address some constitutional concerns about the old law. In some cases, the video recording of the signing ceremony of the will may be useful to demonstrate that the testator was qualified to draft the will and that the formalities for executing the will have been completed. However, videotape cannot replace a written will. If she had made a proper legal will, all these legal problems would have disappeared. I don`t want to criticize them, but anyone old enough to own a home – let alone old enough to be a grandmother – should have addressed these issues. All readers should consult a qualified senior lawyer to draft a will or discuss other planning options that can save your survivors time, money, and grief. Dear M. Premack, My grandmother in the intensive care unit said she wanted everything she owned, including her home, to go to me and my brother-in-law. This was captured on a mobile phone video.
She was later released into palliative care and died 20 days later, so she never had a chance to put it in writing. Would a video be viable as a will in Texas? – DT Paul Premack is a licensed elder lawyer with offices in San Antonio and Seattle dealing with wills and trusts, estates and business entities.