Yes it’s true, there may well be Will-writing reforms ahead

Bumpy road ahead for Wills…

There is going to be a public consultation on the law that backs up Wills in England & Wales. About time too you will hear all of us in the profession say. It is well overdue considering the majority of the rules come from the Wills Act 1837.

It is common knowledge that two thirds of the population do not have a Will in place and so for those folk, the law of intestacy is set to take charge of their assets and  distribute them according to an archaic set of rules. The result is that too many situations end in tears and frustration for the family left behind.

The question is where will they start? So much has changed in life, it is far more complicated than ever before, living longer through medical advances, dealing with dementia and understanding a wide range of factors that can affect the capacity to write a Will and/or a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Of course we generally tend to have more assets to pass on these days, and the family dynamic has got a lot more complicated too through children from multiple relationships and ex partners alike. The underlying objectives have to be to modernize and improve on what we current have in place. It is a multi faceted problem and as such is likely to take quite some time and cost the public purse a shed load of money. It could be worth it!

Some thoughts…

More flexibility over the official signing process of a Will? Is there a more straightforward way to assess and document testamentary capacity? Avoiding the family squabbling about what is due to them and making it more robust to be able to leave your estate as you wish rather than face a contested estate? Should the age be lowered to 16 to write a Will? And how best to deal with your digital assets which may not be subject to the laws of England & Wales, the list goes on and on – food for thought as they say.

If you would like our help with Will-writing, Lasting Power of Attorney, Family Asset Protection Trusts, Inheritance Tax, Care Home fees or Estate administration please contact us here.

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