The legality of documents created online

| 06/06/2016

If you create a will using the Legal Zoom website, would the document be legal in Cayman?

Auntie’s answer: I am sure you are not the first person to create a document online and wonder what the legal status would be in Cayman. These days you can do everything from publishing a book to filing a patent online. And there are probably many other possibilities that go far beyond what this little Auntie can contemplate.

For something as significant as a will, you certainly don’t want to leave anything unclear or open to a disgruntled family member contesting the document. The lawyer I consulted on this question pointed out that Legal Zoom is a US website with documents formulated according to US law. Because of that, he advised, “For such an important document, you should contact a competent lawyer in Cayman.”

Without placing judgement on what would constitute a “competent lawyer”, you can check the Cayman Islands Law Society website  for information on local attorneys.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (1)

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  1. Cho King Often says:

    Any “will” that is legally signed and witnessed can be quite binding. As long as there are no “ambiguities” in the language, especially where contingencies like survivorship and the specific details of each bequest, it will stand up to all but the most greedy and litigious efforts mounted against it.

    If you want to see real battles, just watch a family self-destruct when a wealthy member dies! Dog-eat-dog is a polite way of saying that some real animosities will rear their ugly heads in such cases. This can be especially true where one or more members had little or no interaction with the deceased, yet feel they were unfairly slighted in a will! I’m watching a family of a very good friend go through this right now. The person who was the daily caregiver of the deceased received (rightfully) the lions share in the will, but closer relations who “couldn’t be bothered with that” now are battling over the estate. U-G-L-Y!

    The will is hand-written and properly executed, and thus has so far withstood every effort to supplant it! The battles have raged on for over 2 years now, and the legal expenses imposed by the claimant have basically robbed the lawful recipient of over 60% of the net proceeds so far. The claimant has publicly stated “if I can’t have it, nobody else can” and has succeeded in enforcing that greed on the rightful beneficiary. In reality, both sides are the losers. Like I said, U-G-L-Y!!

    In a way, I thank God I have no really wealthy family relations!