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Are Videotapes of the Execution of a Will or Trust Subject to Discovery?

Videotapes are subject to discovery. Such videotapes can on the one-hand evidence good faith efforts to establish competency or on the other hand constitute an attempted smokescreen to hide the undue influence of the newly minted heirs/beneficiaries of the videotaped execution of the testamentary document. The demeanor, voice tone and facial expressions of the testator/settlor must be closely observed. Questions regarding videotapes include but are not limited to: Who is the videographer? Who paid the videographer? Who made the decision to videotape the execution of the will/trust? Is the tape time stamped? Is the tape edited? Who edited the tape? Was the testator/settlor prompted/led by an attorney/heir/beneficiary to recite a particular script? What was the testator/settlor's physical appearance? Who was present at the videotaping? Who brought the testator/settlor to the video session? Pay attention to the testator/settlor's demeanor, voice tone, and facial expression.

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