A person’s will is an important document. People use wills to choose how to distribute their possessions and often to express preferences about what happens to their bodies after death.When someone dies intestate – without leaving a will, or with a will that is not valid – it can cause difficulties for the family, adding to stress at a time of bereavement.

And yet it’s thought that 40% of the adult population don’t have a will. And even when someone has made a will the complexities in the law can sometimes mean strict formality rules aren’t followed and the validity of the will is called into question.

The project

In the latter part of 2013 the Commission undertook a public consultation on the contents of its 12th Programme of Law Reform, to run from summer 2014.

In response to that consultation leading representative legal bodies and others told us where they felt that the law was not working. Consultation responses focused in particular on two main areas of the law of wills: testamentary capacity and formalities.

Since early 2016 we have been researching the law, potential reforms and, importantly, meeting a broad range of stakeholders to inform the preparation of the consultation paper.

 

CONSULTATION PAPER

Source: Wills | Law Commission