Will law should be brought into ‘modern world’


The law all about wills should be updated and brought into the «modern world», the Law Commission for England and Wales has about.

The current rules were «unclear» and could be putting people off from arranging a will, it added.

It is considering whether texts, emails and other electronic communications should be recognised as a valid resolve in exceptional circumstances.

The commission has launched a consultation on the proposals.


Currently, for a inclination to be legally valid it must be voluntarily written by someone who is 18 or at an end and of sound mind and be signed in front of two witnesses who are also both beyond 18 and must also both sign the will in your air.

But the commission wants to change the existing formality rules where the will-maker has prepared clear their intentions in another form.

It gives the example where a car topple victim has not made a formal will but has expressed their intentions in electronic or other statements, such as a text or email.

The family could then apply to a court to should prefer to those communications recognised as a formal will.

These messages could exclusive then be recognised as a will if a judge approved.

What happens if there is no wishes?

  • If someone dies without a will, rules dictate how their in, property or possessions should be allocated, and potentially not in the way the deceased would maintain wished
  • Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot be bequeathed from each other unless there is a will
  • If there are no surviving relatives who can fall under the rules of intestacy, the estate passes to the Crown
  • Specific prohibits can vary across the United Kingdom

Source: Citizens Advice

The Law Commission acknowledged the bids on electronic communications could cause family arguments or worse.

It imparted the plans could provide a «treasure trove for dissatisfied relatives» and main to a «variety of avenues by which probate could become both valuable and contentious».

But it said on balance it believed they should be recognised by the courts, noting that 40% of people currently die without imparting a will.

Law Commissioner, Professor Nick Hopkins, said making a devise should be «straightforward» but the law was «unclear and outdated».

«Even when it’s obvious what someone craving, if they haven’t followed the strict rules, courts can’t act on it.

«And conditions which select decision-making — like dementia — aren’t properly accounted for in the law.

«That’s not factual and we want an overhaul to bring the law into the modern world.

«Our provisional plans will not only clarify things legally, but will also assistant to give greater effect to people’s last wishes.»

The consultation tinies on 10 November.

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