Can a phone video be your legal Will?

Monday July 29th 2019

Every Estate Planning professional would agree when we say that a Will is one of the most important documents for securing the financial future of a person’s family after they pass away. A Will ensures that when a person dies, their accumulated assets are distributed to the intended beneficiaries appropriately and in the most tax effective manner. However, all too often, planning of a Will is treated as unimportant, deemed as non-urgent or worse – overlooked altogether.

In other cases, people turn to creating make-shift Wills without professional advice as an “easy option”, and as a result gamble the outcome of how their Estate will be distributed and cause greater costs and burden upon their loved ones.

The case of the video Will

In a recent case, a Queensland court has found a video shot by a man several years before he committed suicide to be his functioning legal Will. The deceased man did not have a traditional Will, but four years before his death recorded a video leaving all of his worldly possessions to his wife. “In the event of my death, I would like all my goods, my interests in property … to go to my wife, Leanne Quinn,” Mr Quinn recorded in the video.

Mr Quinn had three sons, two with Leanne and an older son from a previous marriage. Senior Judge Administrator of the Supreme Court of Queensland, Ann Lyons, concluded that, based on the video, Mr Quinn’s intentions were clear to leave all of his assets to Ms Quinn. But what about Mr Quinn’s three sons?

The fallout

Mr Quinn’s eldest son has expectedly expressed his opposition to the decision, as the video did not reference him in any way, leaving him with nothing. While the video was ruled as a legal Will, it could still be contested as any other Will if deemed unfair.

The costs and burden involved in having to go through court is costly and reduces the amount in the Estate. This impacts all the remaining family members. Preparation of a Will should be taken seriously and thoughtfully, considering all family dynamics.

What this means for you and your clients

Nothing should be left to chance! As professional advisers, it is within your duty of care to ensure your clients’ wishes are upheld, and their assets are allocated in accordance with their wishes.

Yodal is the link to easier Estate Planning, empowering you to help your clients secure their assets and provide for their families. Adding Estate Planning to your service offering means you can help foster a positive discussion about protecting the living and ensuring individual wishes are fulfilled.

Get started now.

Yodal is dedicated to simplifying the once complex Estate Planning process and making it easier for everyone to have a plan. Yodal assists accountants and financial advisers to deliver and manage valuable Estate Planning services to which they are centric as trusted advisers. Try it now, and don’t forget to let us know what you think at

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