Can You Dictate Your Last Will with Google?
You are brushing your teeth in the morning when it happens.
You recall your daughter, Sandra, did not call you on your birthday yesterday. Your blood begins to boil. AGAIN. You know this may be petty. But despite your attempts to control your parental anger, you say to yourself, this time there will be a price to pay. You swear it.
You call out to Alexa (or Siri), your virtual assistant, who asks if you need anything. “Yes”, you say, “I want to change my will and disinherit my 30-year-old daughter, Sandra. Please sign my will H. Jones then store it in the cloud with my last wishes.”
Can this be a valid will in Ontario?
Well, not until the law changes, it cannot. Ontario wills must be in writing, signed and witnessed (unless they are holographic wills – see my post Can Handwritten Notes Be Valid Ontario Holographic Wills?)
You Can’t Prepare Your Will with Alexa or Siri
Stop dreaming that you can sign your will electronically without paper. Most people with property will always benefit from having lawyer-prepared estate planning documents. That I am sure of after fixing numerous homemade or DIY wills.
In Ontario you cannot sign your wills electronically. Nor can you make a video will.
Can things change?
Here’s an example that may show you how things can be shaken up.
Modern Miracles Can Happen
Instead of using traditional methods used for generations to age bourbon in oak barrels for years, new technology is changing this process. Some claim they can age whiskey with new technology in days instead of years. Perhaps there’s a modern-day miracle.
Can electronic wills be the new way of making wills without lawyers? The risks of abuse and mistakes will be great.
Don’t expect Ontario to allow you to make electronic wills to protect your loved ones any day soon. We still file all court documents in paper and are waiting for the day we can file court papers electronically. It will take a miracle for this to happen any time soon.
Currently wills in Ontario need to be in writing. It may be decades before laws change and allow electronic shortcuts to protect your family and money. This is not the case in all other countries, though.
The United States has introduced legislation to permit states to use electronic wills. The E-Wills Act allows states to switch from the current paper standard to electronic wills.
Can you postpone making your will and wait for this law to be adopted as the law in Ontario? No. Not any time soon.
If you need help making your will, check out my free report, How to Avoid the Worst Financial Blunder You Can Make, available January 2020 at MrWills.com.
Read more in my next post, How Can You Make Wills in the Future?Posted In: Wills On: December 17th, 2019