Electronic Wills consultation closes

The Law Commission is preparing its recommendations to the Government, in respect of the introduction of Electronic Wills, following the close of a consultation exercise in November last year.

The consultation covered all aspects of making a Will, but crucially included questions relating to the making of Electronic Wills, which do not require the input of a qualified lawyer.

Law Commissioner, Nick Hopkins, told the Independent: “Making a will and passing on your possessions after you’ve died should be straight-forward. But the law is unclear, outdated and could even be putting people off altogether. Even when it’s obvious what someone wanted, if they haven’t followed the strict rules, courts can’t act on it.”

However, with the increasingly complex nature of modern families, there is doubt about the general suitability of the proposals. As more and more second marriages take place, for example, advice is likely to be needed on how to ensure a surviving spouse can benefit from property without jeopardising the inheritance of children from a previous relationship.

Equally, there are specific considerations for cohabitees and even those with relatively straightforward financial affairs may need advice on how to most effectively bequeath their estate in accordance with their wishes.

The Law Commission will publish its recommendations in spring 2018.