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Understanding the Legality of Video Wills in Florida

Estate Planning & Administration, Probate

In our increasingly digital age, where video calls and recordings are commonplace, video wills have emerged as a modern twist on a traditional legal document. In Florida, as in many jurisdictions, the legality of video wills has been a topic of discussion and debate, particularly in light of technological advancements and changing societal norms.

What is a Video Will?

A video will, also known as a “video-recorded will” or “video testament,” is essentially a will that is recorded on video rather than written on paper. The testator (the person making the will) records themselves speaking their final wishes, detailing how they want their assets distributed after their death. This recording serves as evidence of their intentions and can supplement or even replace a traditional written will.

Legal Framework in Florida

Florida, like most states, has specific requirements for wills to be considered legally valid. These requirements are outlined in Chapter 732 of the Florida Statutes. Traditionally, a valid will in Florida must be in writing, signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the will in the presence of each other and the testator.
However, in recent years, Florida has started to recognize the validity of electronic wills (e-wills) and, by extension, video wills. The Florida Electronic Wills Act, which became effective on January 1, 2020, allows for the creation of electronic wills, including those recorded in video format.

Requirements for a Video Will in Florida

To be considered valid under Florida law, a video must meet certain requirements:

1. Presence of Witnesses: The testator must record the video in the presence of at least two witnesses who can attest to the testator’s capacity and the voluntary nature of their statements.

2. Audio-Visual Recording: The recording must capture both the audio and visual elements of the testator’s statement, ensuring that their wishes are clearly articulated and identifiable.

3. Signing and Attestation: After recording, the video will typically require signing by the testator and the witnesses to confirm its authenticity and completeness.

4. Notarization: Depending on the circumstances, notarization may also be required to validate the video will. Notarization can help to authenticate the identities of the testator and witnesses and confirm that they voluntarily participated in the creation of the will.

Benefits and Considerations


  • Accessibility: Video wills can be particularly useful for individuals who are unable to physically write or sign a traditional will due to physical disabilities.
  • Clarity of Intentions: Video recordings can provide clear evidence of the testator’s intentions, reducing the likelihood of disputes among beneficiaries.
  • Flexibility: They offer flexibility in terms of where and when the will can be created, as long as legal requirements are met.


  • Legal Formalities: Ensuring compliance with all legal requirements is crucial to avoid challenges to the validity of the video will.
  • Witnesses and Notarization: Properly identifying and involving witnesses, and potentially a notary, is essential to uphold the validity of the will.
  • Future Challenges: While technology advances, legal interpretations and requirements may evolve, so staying informed about changes in the law is important.

As technology continues to evolve, so too do the methods by which individuals can express their final wishes through wills. Video will represent a modern adaptation of traditional estate planning tools, offering potential benefits in accessibility and clarity. In Florida, recognizing video wills under certain conditions reflects a progressive approach to estate planning, though adherence to legal requirements remains paramount to ensure their validity and enforceability. Whether opting for a video wall or a more traditional approach, seeking guidance from a qualified estate planning attorney can help navigate the complexities and ensure that your intentions are properly documented and legally enforceable.

For legal guidance on video wills and estate planning in Florida, consult Michael T. Heider, P.A., your trusted Florida probate attorney. Ensure your final wishes are legally sound. Contact us at 727-235-6005.