Wills are governed by law, which has existed for about 200 years. The criteria for drafting a valid Last Will and Testament haven’t altered all that much in that period. It has always been the rule that a Will must be written on paper and inked and seen by two witnesses, who must also witness each other’s signatures. However, in the past 20 years, we have seen the birth of online wills, electronic wills, and online will services. There is a lot of misunderstanding due to the fluctuating meanings of these contemporary online wills. We want to clarify the differences between these texts in this article.
An online will
a will prepared by online wills writing service that is downloaded, printed and then signed with two witnesses. It is online wills writing service. Other than the Electronic Will shown below, there isn’t actually such a thing as online wills.
A statement outlining how your digital assets—both those with monetary worth and those with emotional significance—will be handled. These may include anything from cryptocurrency to social media profiles. This is outlined outside of your standard Last Will and Testament and often designates a person (your “Digital Executor”) to oversee this process.
A computerized will
a document that has been digitally signed by you, your two witnesses, and yourself. Typically, the signature is done remotely using a video connection, after which the document may be saved electronically in the cloud. British Columbia is the only Province, as of this writing, that will accept an electronic signature and saved Will. Visit http://meigscountyjuvenilecourt.org/tips-from-an-expert-on-online-wills/ to read about Tips from an expert on online wills.
What are online wills?
Things start to get a bit hazy at this point. “I’ve been informed an online Will is not legal,” is a common statement we hear. What, however, is an online Will?
We consider a will created utilizing an online wills service to be an online will. There are several online will providers, however, there isn’t truly such a thing as “online Wills.” You may create your Will online with LegalWills.ca, however, the service often needs you to download and print your completed form before signing it in front of two witnesses (we will get to the exceptions later).
Online Will creation
You may move through a series of questions on your computer, iPad, or smartphone using the service at LegalWills.ca. It is interactive and tailored to your province. For instance, it will walk you through the process of choosing guardians and creating trusts if you have small children. The service will let you know if you’ve forgotten to include a family member.
The internet version, however, is unsigned. It is there so you may easily update the document. You need to re-compile your document each time you modify the data. The paper must then be downloaded once again, and you must sign it again in front of two witnesses. Even if you wrote the paper yourself, it is not a holographic Will since it was typewritten instead. Therefore, you still need two witnesses to see your sign.
Our definition of online will is that it is identical to any other written, witnessed, and signed document, except for the fact that it was created online.
A digital will: What is it?
The process of cataloging your digital assets and making provisions for them in your will has primarily come to be known as creating a “digital Will.”
Digital assets may be divided into three categories:
- Online-stored items with little monetary worth should presumably be given to someone else to handle This would include things like social media accounts, internet video accounts, and picture galleries.
- Online possessions with potential long-term worth, such as income from a blog, an Instagram account, a YouTube channel, a domain name, or an Amazon affiliate program.
- Online accounts that include financial assets include those for online gambling, PayPal, Stripe or Wise accounts, and online investment accounts (online bank account logins are not included here since they are real-world financial assets even if you may access them online)!
- Digital currencies, such as NFTs.
You may specify how you want these accounts to be handled in a digital will. It goes without saying that any funds in a PartyPoker account should be taken out and put to the estate. What about a domain name, though? It’s possible to designate a beneficiary for a domain name. If instructions weren’t given to loved ones, they would just die despite having genuine worth.
Then, we enter a pretty hazy realm including things like a great Twitter account. The scenario of a family Twitter account igniting a battle amongst kids is maybe not too far-fetched: “You can have the wedding ring, but I want the @jones Twitter to handle.”
Because so many service providers have their own policies about what may and cannot be done with an account, this is a complex subject. Apple only just made it possible to create a Legacy Contact for your iCloud account. Click here to read about Making a will.
Even your iTunes and Kindle collections are licensed, not owned, social media profiles most of the time. Therefore, you may direct how the account should be handled but you cannot give beneficiary access to the account’s funds.
You may now create a Legacy Contact for your Facebook (Meta) and Instagram accounts on Facebook. You choose this person, and they have the authority to preserve your account.
What is a digital will, then?
It is inappropriate for a standard legal Last will and testament to handle this information in this manner (contrary to many online resources). If your Will included instructions for the management of all your internet accounts, it would very rapidly become impossible. Additionally, after your will has been probated, it becomes a public record. Your Pinterest login information should not be included in your Last Will and Testament.
A “social media will,” which some firms are offering, lets you designate important social media accounts and specify whether you want them to be destroyed or preserved, enabling you to separate this information.