An announcement this morning from the Law Commission has called for an overhaul to the outdated laws surrounding Wills.
Currently in the UK, 40% of adults die intestate (without a Will) every year and data from the Co-op reveals that 45%* of UK adults currently don’t have a Will.
Responding to the announcement, James Antoniou, Head of Wills for Co-op Legal Services said:
"The spirit of the proposals from the Law Commission are welcomed. Making the law more accessible is one of today's biggest challenges facing the legal industry. However, at the moment, the laws about what makes a Will legally valid are strict and clear. So any relaxation of these rules, by giving the courts power to recognise other types of communication, creates uncertainty which could lead to a greater number of legal disputes and ultimately with families suffering the associated legal costs.
"It’s important to recognise that these proposals are not trying to wholly replace the way Wills are being written today, they are currently looking to extend the court's powers to be able to recognise a person's wishes where it is clear that they were intending to make a Will but it doesn't technically comply with the current strict rules.
"The Co-op has been championing the need to make Will writing more accessible by launching their online Will service last year to the general public. This allows people to start making their Will online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and then have a follow telephone call with a Wills specialist to discuss their circumstances before it is put in place. Once the Will has been signed, Co-op can check the Will to ensure that it has been executed correctly and also offers free lifetime storage."
Notes to Editor
*Research amongst 2000 UK adults conducted by Atomik in May 2017
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