South Downs CoupleA Law Commission consultation paper seeks feedback from the public on a range of issues around will-making and how the law protects will-makers from fraud.   It is said that while the basics of how we make our wills have stood the test of time, other aspects are in need of updating to reflect the modern era.

Some of the key issues covered in the consultation paper include:

  • Giving the courts greater flexibility to uphold wills that do not meet legal requirements
  • Using the Mental Capacity Act 2005 as the test to establish capacity to write a will
  • Introducing a statutory presumption of capacity to write a will
  • Reducing the age at which someone can make a will from 18 to 16
  • The possibility of online or electronic will-writing

Another suggestion is that the language used in wills should be reformed, with the replacement of the term “testator” with “will-maker” in order to demystify the process.

These proposals raise important but challenging questions, especially in relation to electronic wills and the protection of the will-maker from fraud or undue influence.

The response date for the consultation process is 10 November 2017.

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