Proposed law change
The Law Commission has recently announced that it will be reviewing the law relating to wills with the aim of encouraging more people to make a will and reduce the number of wills being challenged.
The Law Commission project will commence in early 2015 and will concentrate on four key areas, testamentary capacity, the formalities for a valid will, the rectification of wills and mutual wills. Their final report and draft bill are expected to be published in early 2018.
The reason for the project is due to the fact that the current law for the validity and interpretation of wills is based on the historic 1837 Wills Act and the law for assessing testamentary capacity is largely based on the Victorian case of Bank v Goodfellow (1837).
The Law Commission is concerned that the outdated nature of the current law in terms of social, technological and medical development discourages people from making wills and that an individual’s intentions may not be given effect on their death. Both of these issues contribute towards litigation which can be expensive and stressful.