Modernising Wills?

The ever important issue of Wills, and the failure of around 40% of us to make one, hit the headlines recently due to The Law Commission proposing various changes to attempt to bring Wills out of the Victorian era. We now live in an age of digital technology, lead more complicated lives and have an ageing population, unlike in 1870 when the law relating to Wills was created.

Whilst in reality the proposals, which have been published for consultation, seek to clarify the longstanding law that relates to Wills, there are suggestions to modernise certain aspects. One of the proposals is to reduce the age that you can make a valid Will from 18 to 16.

Proposals have also been made for Wills to be recognised in digital format, if evidence were brought before the Court that could prove that someone’s testamentary wishes were given by text, for example in a car crash, it could be deemed to be a valid Will.

Electronic Wills with a digital signature could also become commonplace, as could Wills made as a video recording, however there are words of caution due to the potential for editing/dubbing.

Due to the greater incidence of age related illness such as dementia it is also proposed that the test for deciding whether someone can make a Will is focused on the actual decision to be made, rather than medical status determining capacity.

The advice surrounding Wills can be complicated and the proposed changes may or may not take effect, but the process for you needn’t be, with our expert advice.

Please contact Tracy Ashby on 0121 647 5269 or E-mail

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