Posted: 14/07/17 by Howes Percival
Leading regional law firm, Howes Percival has cautiously welcomed the consultation announced by The Law Commission for England and Wales into the laws around Wills so as to bring them into the digital age.
Describing the current legal system as ‘outdated’ and ‘unclear’, the Law Commission is calling for the law to be relaxed to permit notes, emails and even voice messages to be used as an alternative to a written Will. Under the proposals, new powers would be granted to County and High Court judges to decide ‘on the balance of probabilities’ whether a recording or note accurately reflects the wishes of a testator (the person making the Will).
Commenting on the consultation Tom Lawrence, Partner in the Estates Team at Howes Percival said, “Making a Will and passing on your Estate to loved ones should be an easily accessible process for people. I think the current law relating to Wills has not kept pace with modern living for a large section of the general public.
“Currently, it is estimated 40% of people die without making a Will. While we broadly welcome advances in the law which would reduce the number of people dying intestate, clearly any changes to the current system would need to be very carefully tested to ensure testators and their loved ones are properly protected and can plan their affairs with certainty.”