Author: Lindsey Biccari
15 September 2020
ARE VIDEO WILLS VALID IN SOUTH AFRICA?
There is no precedent on the validity of video wills in South Africa. In order for a will to be valid and accepted by the Master of the High Court in this country, it has to comply with the requirements as set out in section 2 of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 including, but not limited to, the requirement that it must be duly signed by the testator as well as by two or more competent witnesses present at the same time.
In some international jurisdictions (such as New South Wales, Australia, and in some states in the United States of America) the issue of video wills has come before their courts and some rulings have held that in certain situations and provided specific requirements are met, video wills may be accepted as a valid last will of a deceased person. It therefore appears that international jurisdictions are gradually adapting, their courts navigating the interaction between law and technology.
The importance of having a written and validly executed will remains paramount in South Africa, notwithstanding the possibility that video wills may be approved by courts in times to come.
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