Law Commission recommends a review of Wills calling them outdated

Law Commission proposals on Wills

The Law Commission has said that Victorian laws on Wills, are out of step with the modern world, failing to protect the vulnerable, and do not allow others to distribute their cherished possessions after they’ve gone.

4 out of 10 of adults die intestate i.e. without a Will. Current laws might be putting people off writing their Will.

One of the suggestions of the Law Commission is a reduction in age to 16, as the legal age for making a Will. At the moment that is only available to Armed Forces personnel under 18.

When people think of a Will, many imagine old fashioned writing on discoloured paper. That’s a million miles away from the digital world that we inhabit today. Another suggestion is the introduction of electronic Wills. These better reflect the modern world and might encourage more people to make a Will.

In summary the new Law Commission consultation paper launched on 13 July proposes:

  • Giving the court power to recognise a will in cases where the formality rules haven’t been followed but the will-maker has made clear their intentions.
  • An overhaul of the rules protecting those making a will from being unduly influenced by another person.
  • Applying the test of capacity in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to the question of whether a person has the capacity to make a will.
  • Providing statutory guidance for doctors and other professionals conducting an assessment of whether a person has the required mental capacity to make a will.
  • Giving the Lord Chancellor power to make provision for electronic wills.
  • Lowering the age at which people are able to make a will from 18 to 16 years old.

For further details of the Law Commission consultation on Wills, visit the website.

To talk about making a Will or to review an existing Will, contact Mitchell Lucke