Can I make a Will by Text Message?


Liz Fyfe

You may have seen headlines recently about the law concerning making a will – “Could a text become your will?” was one headline!

This is a reference to a recent Law Commission report which looks at the current laws on making a will and whether these could ( or should) be changed.

At the moment a will must be in writing and comply with strict criteria to be valid. These include the requirement for the will to be signed by the person intending to create a will, in the presence of two witnesses. This law has been in place since the reign of Queen Victoria and has to date stood the test of time.

But should this be updated to reflect changes in modern technology? That is the debate. Whilst we await the final recommendations, it is worth thinking – does technology always make things safer? Better? 

What then of the future – could an email or text message become a will?

How will these be checked? Who could say who wrote the particular email or text? Was the person under pressure? Did they understand the implications? These are all key questions which would need to be considered and could give rise to claims.

You only need to look to the media to see that Will disputes are on the rise. Any change to the current law must protect vulnerable will makers and we will have to wait and see what the final proposals bring. For now, my advice is clear- there is no substitute for engaging an experienced solicitor, to draft your will. Only then will you be assured that your intentions are clear and the will is legally valid.

Call now for a free initial consultation on making a will.

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