Following on from our earlier article, for a Will to be validly executed, s6 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) provides that a Will is not valid unless:-
- it is in writing and signed by the willmaker;
- the signature is made by the willmaker in the presence of 2 or more witnesses present at the same time; and
- those witnesses attest and sign the will in the presence of the willmaker.
Although part 2B of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 provides that you can witness a Will remotely, this provision generally relies on there being an original document signed with a wet signature. An online Will does not offer this.
If you die, and you have made an online Will, complications may also arise when an application for Probate is made to the Supreme Court of NSW. For example, the “original” Will with “wet-signatures” cannot be located. This may result in the Court requiring your executors to fulfil additional requirements to prove the Will. The Supreme Court may consider the an application for Probate is being made on a copy of the Will if an online Will is admitted for Probate.
Overall, yes they are cheaper but I would always recommend seeing a solicitor, trained in the area of Estate Planning to prepare a Will for you over any online Will platform or Will Kit. Part of my role as an estate planning solicitor is getting to know you and understanding your circumstances. You cannot build a relationship with the online platform.
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