A Possible Future for Electronic / Digital Wills…

Posted 19 July 2017 by Richard Tinkler

The Law Commission has recently announced that they are holding a consultation with regards to the law surrounding the making of Wills.  One thing that the Law Commission is looking into is the possibility of reforming the law so that Wills can be prepared and held electronically.  Of course, at the moment, a Will can be prepared electronically but it needs to be signed (and witnessed!) on paper and comply with the rules for the making of a valid Will.  In the future, digital Wills, or electronic or e-Wills, may be able to be prepared.  Naturally, this raises all kinds of issues including the security of such documents being held online, and how witnesses can witness a signature online.  Indeed the Law Commission are open to receiving comments on the possibility for reform in this area.
It does seem, with so much being able to be done online these days, to be a case of when, as opposed to if, Wills will be able to be made and held electronically.  It will be interesting to see how the law develops to cover the making of Wills electronically…
For now, though, Wills continue to be valid only if they are held in paper format.  Indeed there are plenty of ways in which making a Will in this way can go terribly wrong if one does not take proper advice!  So, whether you are making a paper Will now, or an e-Will/digital Will in future, please consider taking expert legal advice.  Failing to do so can render a Will invalid, or valid but not enabling your wishes to take effect the way you wanted.
This article was written on 19 July 2017 and the law may change following this date.
This article aims to supply general information but it is not intended to constitute advice.  Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead.  However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy.  Always seek specific advice. 

Capron & Helliwell Solicitors offer a range of legal services at the firm’s Stalham and Wroxham offices near North Walsham and Norwich in Norfolk. The firm specialises in areas including family law, conveyancing and private client law including wills and probate. Capron & Helliwell Solicitors offer free family law clinics – please call 01692 581231 for further details or to make an appointment

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