Sunday, June 5, 2022

Article: Electronic Wills: Why Would Georgia Choose to Delay the Inevitable?

Jacob C. Wilson recently published a comment entitled, Electronic Wills: Why Would Georgia Choose to Delay the Inevitable?, Mercer Law Review, 2021. Below is an excerpt from the Comment:

It was a late on a Tuesday night. It had been five grueling days since Max had the opportunity to spend time with his thirty-five-year-old daughter, Kate. Max was looking through Kate’s laptop and kept looking at all her photos documenting her travels and life experiences from their annual trip to Destin, Florida to the day she got her first job after college. Kate trusted Max more than anyone, so he was the only one who knew Kate’s password. Kate even kept the password hidden from her husband of five years, Jim. Kate was an avid writer and often kept track of her feelings and experiences through her journal typed on Microsoft Word. Max pulled up Kate’s last typed journal entry before she succumbed to illness dated March 21, 2021. Kate’s entry was largely influenced by her perception of Jim’s disdain for her parents and that Jim wouldn’t maintain contact with them. More importantly, Kate wrote “I wish that Jim would give my father back his grandfather clock, collectible coin set, and old cameras if I don’t make it, but deep down, I know Jim won’t. What should I do?” Max continued reading:

“Dad, I knew that if this day were to come that you would read through my journal. So, if you are reading this, then I want you to know that I want you to have our family heirlooms that you gave to me when I first moved out. That means, I want you to have the grandfather clock, collectible coin set, and collection of old cameras in order to preserve our family’s memory.”

Kate didn’t prepare a valid will, so this is all she left as to who she wanted to possess these items. No one thought the illness would take a turn for the worse like it did, but her immune system was so weak that she was unable to go out in public for the past year. This document now only served as a reminder to Max of what Kate wanted. Upon meeting with a lawyer shortly after reading through Kate’s journal, the lawyer informed Max that under Georgia law, since Kate died without creating a will then under Georgia Intestacy Statutes everything would go to her husband Jim including the family heirlooms mentioned in Kate’s journal.

Articles, Estate Planning – Generally, Wills | Permalink


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