Probate and Estates Video

Question: My husband and I need to create a will and requests for our child care if something were to happen to us, as far as custody. We can’t afford to see a lawyer for a will at the moment, but I would like something in place. I know a written will might not stand up, since we can’t get it notarized.

So my question is, can we write a will, and video it with our wishes, for our will? Will it hold up in court if there was a dispute over who should get custody of our son in our absence?

Thanks for any help!
Oh really? I thought it was more expensive. Where would we go for that?

And my state is New York too.

Answer: A notary can’t notarize a video recording.

Every state is different – for that matter, when it comes to probate, every county is different. Some judges may accept videorecordings by themselves – but most that I know, do not; a written, properly-executed Will has to accompany the videorecording.

You need to go to an attorney – ESPECIALLY because you have a child. Getting legal advice over the Internet is dangerous.

THE best way to find a lawyer is by word of mouth. Ask your: family, friends, coworkers, anyone you might know in the same situation, etc.


Call your local (usually county) bar association. Ask for names of attorneys that handle Estate Law. (If money is a BIG problem, you could also ask for the phone number of your local LegalAid office. – the attorneys at LegalAid are “real” attorneys, but sometimes in the field of Law, how much you are willing to pay does affect the quality you get. Also, most attorneys that I know will accept payments.)


Go to your local Public Library. Ask the Reference Librarian for their “MARTINDALE-HUBBELL” – and/or on the computer – to find an attorney based on practice, geography, etc.

When you call the law office(s), insist on speaking with the Lawyer. Just tell the Secretary the main idea of your matter – do not tell all the little details of your matter to the Secretary – save the details for the Attorney. When you get the Lawyer on the phone line, ask him/her:

– Do they give >>>FREE, initial consultations for the FIRST meeting? (most do, but not all – you have to ask, don’t assume)
– How much do they charge (per hour)?
– Could you make payments on your account?
– Can they help you? OR Refer you to someone who can help you?

Good luck.

(This is based on my knowledge, information, belief, and life experiences. This was intended as personal opinion, and not intended to be used as legal advice. Seeking advice over the Internet is not a good idea – the field of Law is too complex for that. Please be careful and do your research.)

One thought on “Probate and Estates Video

  1. rickinnocal

    Why can’t you get it notarized? Notarization costs, at most, $5 or $10

    Whether notarization is even necessary, or whether a video will is legal, depends on State law, and you didn’t say where you are.