Problems Making a Will Electronically

The Law Commission’s report on making a will needs to be updated so as to reflect modern day society and bring the law in line with the electronic age.

The law on making a will (usually by solicitors) has not been updated for many years.  In fact 40% of people in the UK die without making a will, the consequences can be damaging to the loved ones left behind.

The lack of a will may also cause squabbles and arguments, the estate left with paying the death taxes at 40% when there are simple legal matters that can be done before death to reduce the impact of tax.  After all, the deceased would have paid all those taxes over the years, why pay the HMRC again when you die.  It’s simply a double tax.

Counter Arguments to Making a Will Electronically

The report is thinking that wills can be made by:

  • Text message
  • Email
  • Voicemail

It is also considered that people as young as 16 years of age can also make a will electronically.  It will make the process of drafting a will easier and more accessible.  However there is another serious balance that has to be considered.

Whilst it is welcomed that the law should be simplified and easier to make a will it has to take certain safeguards into account.  Such as electronic documents can provide a treasure trove for dissatisfied relatives.  They could go through every email, text and find out the right one that suits their point of view, or the deceased’s real wishes.

Whatever the law, it certainly must be brought up to date and we welcome such changes providing that the correct safeguards are on place.

Make A Will By Text Message!

Fatal accident claims solicitors can report that there is ongoing investigations that the law relating to will writing in outdated and must be kept up to date with modern technology.

It has been mentioned that text messages, emails or even voice mails could be considered binding on the deceased’s estate on how the testator’s wishes are to be carried out.

The Law Commission’s Report on outdated wills has advised that the Wills and Probate Law needs drastic overhaul as only 40% of adults die without a will.

Importance of Making a Will

It cannot be underestimated how important it is to make a will.  At fatal accident claims solicitors we appreciate that the young especially do not consider making a will and adults only begin to think about it when they start a family or suffer from an illness.  Even then, many still do not make a will.

The Law Commission has called for the documents to be produced electronically on smart phones, tablets, computers and be available to people as young as 16 years.

Such digital intervention is allowed in countries such as Australia and Canada but there are counter arguments that a change in the law could trigger more family arguments than it solves.

We would appreciate your thoughts, should making a will be updated and allowed to be produced electronically or not?