The Government has launched a consultation that could see messages left on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, recognised as a will if approved by a court.
Other proposals include reducing the legal age to write a will from 18 to 16, as well as a new mental capacity test to account for conditions which affect decision-making such as dementia.
The proposals have been put forward by the Government’s law reform advisory body, as a way to modernise the process of passing on your estate, as the current system is ‘outdated’ and is ‘failing to protect the vulnerable’.
The body has admitted that proposals such as accepting electronic communications as wills could cause rifts between families and raise ambiguity, it believes that the current rules do not provide clarity and formality should be softened in order to encourage more people to leave a will.
Our Head of Private Client, Dawn White, has said that while this shows progress, people should exercise caution: “By moving forward with these proposals, more and more people will have their intentions understood, particularly in cases of those who have passed away in an accident or very suddenly.”
“However, the potential for ambiguity, confusion, and confrontation when accepting such messages as a will means that it should not be presented as a first option.”
“It is best to see a solicitor and have a will written by a professional. Only then will you receive a document that covers all aspects of your wishes, and written in a way that provides clarity and peace of mind for all involved.”
To write a will, or to find out more about writing a will, contact our private client solicitor, Dawn White, today by calling 0115 988 6704, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can take part in the consultation by clicking here.
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Use our quick and easy contact form to get in touch with our team of private client solicitors, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can to assist you with your legal needs. You can also email email@example.com or call 0115 988 6704.
Dawn White is an Associate Director at DBS, as well as the head of the Private Client department.
Dawn has been leading wills and probate departments since 2004 for a number of firms across the East Midlands before joining DBS’s Nottingham office in 2014.