How far is the production of Wills moving towards the use of technology?
Currently Wills must be made in writing on paper, and witnessed by two independent witnesses in strict accordance with formal rules.
The Law Commission is reviewing the law relating to Wills and has been carrying out a consultation aiming at bringing the law up to date. Among its proposals are provisions for electronic wills ‘once technical obstacles are overcome’. It is also considering lowering the age at which a Will can be made from 18 to 16, and to enable the courts to have greater freedom to follow a person’s clear intentions even if the formal rules of making a Will are not followed.
It is estimated that around 40% of adults dying each year have not made out a will. At Jordans we support any changes which encourage more people to make Wills. However, electronic Wills raise important risks, such as how safe they would be from fraud or undue influence against vulnerable people.
ILM (Institute of Legacy Management – an umbrella body for Charities which receive legacies from Wills) chief executive Chris Millward said: ‘Our members are already seeing the consequences of wills made online, and as we become more reliant on technology, this is likely to increase. There is a risk of badly drawn up wills resulting in donors’ final wishes being frustrated, and failing, meaning charities and their beneficiaries miss out on vital support. The introduction of fully electronic wills would complicate the process further.’
Therefore it is, and will always remain, essential to ensure your Will is correctly prepared, taking into account your own individual intentions and circumstances and we would strongly recommend that you take legal advice in the preparation of your Will. The modest cost of taking such advice may well save your family from much higher costs if you die with a badly drawn Will or no Will at all.
At Jordans our Wills and Probate team advise varied clients, all looking to protect their finances, property, and other valuable goods after they’ve died. We recognise how important it is that this is done correctly, to provide peace of mind to everyone involved.
We are on hand to help with any queries you may have in regards to Will writing. Our Wills solicitors & law firms are based in Wakefield, Dewsbury, and Horsforth. Feel free to call us on 0330 300 1103 or request a call back by clicking here.