The Future of Wills

The Law Commission recently announced that a comprehensive review of the law relating to Wills is to be undertaken.

Currently, the primary Wills statute, the Wills Act 1837 dates from the Victorian era. The law governing testamentary capacity (the mental capacity required to make a Will), derives from a case in 1870. The Law Commission has noted concern that the current law discourages some people from making a Will – it is thought that it is out of step with social and medical developments and that it may not work in such a way as to give best effect to a person’s intentions on death.

There has also been criticism that the laws are difficult to understand and apply and are sometimes unworkable in practice. In the case of mental capacity this presents a growing problem, since conditions that affect capacity are becoming more common as people live for longer.

The project will focus on four key areas:

1) Testamentary Capacity

2) The formalities for a valid Will

3) The rectification of Wills

4) Mutual Wills

The aim is for recommendations and a draft Bill to be released in early 2018.

Please visit our website page about making a Will. If you haven’t already done a Will or if you simply wish to speak to someone about Wills, please contact the office on 0208 427 5656 or email Julia Newland (Julia.newland@garsideandhoy.co.uk) or Suzanna Baker (Suzanna.baker@garsideandhoy.co.uk)

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