The end of Wills as we know them?


27 July 2017

By Lisa Carter

The Law Commission for England and Wales has released a consultation about possible reforms regarding the making of Wills claiming it should be brought into the ‘modern world’. The current law governing the drafting of a Will dates back to the Victorian era. The Wills Act 1837 dictates that for a Will to be valid it must be made voluntarily by someone who is over the age of 18 and of sound mind and it must be signed in front of two witnesses who then sign themselves. However, the commission proposes to make provisions for electronic wills enabling the testator's wishes to be considered where they have expressed their intentions in another form, for example through a text message or email.

What happens if there is no will?

It is estimated that around 40% of the population die intestate causing significant disputes between family members.

If someone dies without having a Will in place, rules dictate how their assets should be allocated and if there are no surviving relatives who are able to inherit under the rules of intestacy, the estate will pass to the Crown.

This means that unmarried partners cannot inherit unless there is a Will in place.

Until a reform of the law surrounding Wills occurs, it is important to have a valid Will in place in order for your wishes to be accounted for.

The Private Client team at Gepp and Sons would be very happy to assist you in making the right choice and if you have any questions or wish to book an appointment to discuss your Will, please ring 01245 228127.

Article researched and produced by Katie Hayden – Gepp and Sons Private Client Team

Gepp & Sons is one of the region’s top law firms and our probate team has been helping people deal with a wide range of issues around Wills, probate and estate administration for many years. We can talk you through all of your rights and responsibilities in a clear, friendly way and help you to make sure all of your legal obligations are taken care of correctly, giving you complete peace of mind.

Call us today on 01245 228122 to speak to one of our probate specialists about becoming an administrator or any other issues to do with probate and estate administration.