In the latest Technology move to hit the 21st century, people could soon be able to use voicemail and text messages to make their wills – changing the conventional rule that was introduced in 1839.
According to The Law Commission for England and Wales, the current process is “outdated and unclear” and needs bringing into our “modern world” – This potential new idea is already in existence by other countries across the world; Australia, Canada, South Africa, and several US states are understood to be happy with the service.
However, The Law Commission also acknowledged the possibility over instant messaging and voice mail services could cause family disagreements over the new policy being introduced in the future.
Professor Nick Hopkins said: “Even when it’s obvious what someone wanted, if they haven’t followed the strict rules, courts can’t act upon it.”
A statement suggested a “treasure trove for dissatisfied relatives” and lead to a “variety of avenues by which probate could become both expensive and contentious” – Nevertheless, this doesn’t get away from the fact that 40% of people die without making a written Will.
Another stumbling block in reference to electronic communications, could be the amount of large texts, emails and other records in order coming through to your mobile phone – in order to find one message that could be used as a will on the basis of a dispensing power.
The current process of A legally valid Will is put together and written by an Adult who is 18 or over, with two witnesses also over the consensual age of 18 being present and signing the document.
The other damning implication is that there could be unwanted pressure put on vulnerable and elderly people, by making last minute adjustments to their will by an easier voicemail transmission on one’s deathbed.
Charity director of Age UK, Caroline Abraham, said: “Whilst we welcome this public consultation, any proposed changes must not create further barriers for people who wish to plan ahead, and ensure that older people are able to make their own decisions wherever possible, free from pressure and coercion.”
The consultation, which launched on July 14th, will run until November 10th – where it is thought that another idea of lowering the age that someone can make a will from 18 to 16 years old, is also a possibility being thought over.
While we at Will Protect see the pros and cons within the potential new service, we are still committed as ever to provide you with the best service and act whichever way you see fit when it comes to your written last Will and Testament.
We can help with the forward thinking approach and give advice towards your chosen services, which will in turn become a huge benefit to your family in the future. We will manage your estate, using our experience in the financial sector to mitigate inheritance tax and make sure your money ends up with your loved ones instead of in the hands of the Government.