One of the questions people ask us a lot is whether or not doing a Will online is a valid way of setting up your estate. It’s an understandable question. The technology is pretty new, and a digital Will is a concept many aren’t yet familiar with. We know that when most people think about writing a Will, they think about either a paper Will kit or an expensive in-person process with a lawyer, and they don’t imagine that you could create a Will from the comfort of your couch in just 20 minutes and have it be completely legal.
But the good news is, that’s the reality. A digital Will is legal.
In fact, a digital Will is the legal equivalent of every other Will, as long as you make sure that it is printed out at the end of the process, and it is signed and witnessed. That’s the short answer, and it’s the truth. Where you have created a Will under legal circumstances and followed the procedure, you can have full confidence in a digital Will.
A digital Will is a legal document showing your final wishes
Just because a Will was created online instead of in someone’s office, doesn’t mean that it carries less weight legally, or that it is in more danger of being challenged. It’s a fully customised Will that represents your best and final wishes, and as long as it meets the requirements for a Will, that it wasn’t created under coercion or difficult circumstances etc., it will be a reliable document.
Because a digital Will gives you more options and more flexibility than a Will kit, it also means that you can create more provisions for your beneficiaries and set things up with a greater level of detail, giving you more confidence that your estate will be respected by people who feel that it reflects what you wanted.
Where there are some situations where a Will was written digitally but unofficially, in the form of a Word document left on a computer or a text message that had been intended to be sent and included the words “my Will” - these are situations where a court has had to make the final decision about whether or not the Will was valid. This is largely because the Wills weren’t executed correctly.
How to make sure your digital Will is valid
Once you’ve finished writing your Will online, you will need to make sure that you do sign the Will, in the presence of witnesses, and keep it safe. Once you’ve done this, it becomes a full legal Will, and won’t need to be determined by the court. That’s the final step when you create a digital Will through Willed.com.au, and we encourage everyone who starts a Will to ensure that they complete, print and execute it as soon as possible.
As long as these steps are followed and all the necessary precautions are taken to ensure that your Will follows the guidelines of your State or Territory, a digital Will is entirely legally valid.