Making a Will by text or email may actually happen if proposals put forward by the Law Commission today end up being approved. With the format for making a Will not having changed since Victorian times, the Law Commission thinks that the process needs a radical re-think to be brought into the 21st century.
These proposals include 16 year olds being given the legal capacity to make a Will (the current age limit is 18).
The headline-grabbing proposal is the idea that in order to take into account the true intentions of what should happen to a person’s estate upon their death, emails and even text messages should be taken into account.
George Persson is one of our partners and heads up our Wills, Probate + Tax Planning team.
‘In fairness to the Law Commission the last thing that they are proposing is the abolition of Wills,’ says George. ‘What they are suggesting as an example is a case where someone dies unexpectedly and both texts and emails may be a valuable source in ascertaining where exactly the deceased intended to leave his or her estate. However, even in those circumstances it is proposed that application will still have to be made to the court for the approval of a judge.’
The Law Commission has announced that consultation closes on the 10th November.
‘It is correct that after more than a century the process of making a Will be re-examined. Many people do not even make a Will. We are also living in a rapidly changing world including witnessing the rise in the number of people with dementia,’ adds George. ‘However, the one thing that will remain even truer than ever is that the only way of making certain that your estate goes to whoever you want it to go to is by making a Will that passes all the legal tests and requirements.’
To discuss any of these issues you can contact George Persson today on 01761 409 322 or at firstname.lastname@example.org