07 August 2014

The Law Commission has announced that it will be reviewing the law relating to wills with the aims of encouraging more people to make a will and to reduce the likelihood of wills being challenged.

The current law for the validity and interpretation of wills is based on the 1837 Wills Act and the law for assessing testamentary capacity remains largely based on the Victorian case of Banks v Goodfellow. The Law Commission is concerned that the out dated nature of the current law in terms of social, technological and medical developments discourages people from making wills and that an individual's intentions may not be given effect to on their death. Both of these issues contribute towards litigation which can be expensive and stressful.

The Law Commission project will commence in early 2015 and concentrate on 4 key areas which have been potentially identified for reform; testamentary capacity, the formalities for a valid will, the rectification of wills and mutual wills. Their report, final recommendations and a draft Bill are expected to be published in early 2018.

Key contact

Jim Aveline

Jim Aveline Partner

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