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Electronic Wills could be the future

It is estimated that approximately 40% of UK individuals die intestate, without having made provision for their estate in a Will. The Law Commission has voiced its desire for England and Wales to be the first jurisdiction to recognise electronic Wills as valid legal documents.

The proposals seek to allow documents that do not display the usual formalities of an individual’s Will to be treated as a valid deed. This means that text messages, video recordings and social media posts could be considered as binding as to a deceased’s wishes in the future. The proposals go on to make the suggestion that a new ‘mental capacity test’ should be introduced to take account of the ever increasing number of people with conditions such as Alzheimers and Dementia who wish to draft their Will.

The proposals also seek to allow individuals as young as sixteen to make a Will, whereas the current laws require an individual to be at least eighteen years of age.

The changes have not yet been passed into legislation and although they may never be, the discussion reminds us all that we should review our Wills. Those who have yet to make provision for their loved ones by way of a Will, should seek legal advice as to how to go about doing so.

If you wish to review or draft your Will, please contact Samantha Perry on 01926 499889 to discuss the matter further.