The Law Commission, the independent body which makes recommendations to the Government on reforms to the law, is preparing its recommendations in respect of the introduction of Electronic Wills, following the close of a consultation exercise in November.

The consultation covered all aspects of making a Will, and crucially included questions relating to the making of Electronic Wills for instance via text messages..

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 But the law is unclear, outdated and could even be putting people off altogether.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. For example, as more and more second marriages take place, specialist legal advice is likely to be needed on how to ensure a surviving spouse can benefit from property without jeopardising the inheritance of children from the previous relationship. Equally, there are specific considerations for cohabitees and even those with relatively straightforward financial affairs may need specialist legal advice on how to most effectively bequeath their estate in accordance with their wishes.  Therefore, in most cases, legal advice from a solicitor will be required as it is recommended now.

The Law Commission will publish its recommendations in spring 2018.

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