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Be Careful How Your Witnesses Witness Wills

Modern technology brings up a lot of new issues when dealing with estates. Especially on issues of keeping digital assets and how to factor those into your estate plans. In a recent Ohio case, technology has taken a usually simple requirement of witnessing a signature on a will, and has made it more complicated.

The case involves a testator who signed his will in the 'presence' of witnesses except for the fact that it was witnessed via a computer monitor and not actually in the physical presence of the testator. This lead to the Ohio court to deny the probate of the will due to the witnesses having not been in the conscious presence of the testator as required by the current statute. And on appeal, the appellate court affirmed the previous decision. They found that because the monitor was only one way the testator could not see nor hear the witnesses sign the will.

The best way to avoid a situation like this is to sign your estate documents in the actual physical presence of the witnesses. Follow this simple procedure and there shouldn't be any unforeseen complications.

It's always the best practice to use professional estate litigation Attorney for all your estate litigation needs.


*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.

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