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Wills, Trusts & Power of Attorney

By Nicolae Trofin

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Delays in updating the Wills Act of 1837 and the currently used capacity measure from 1870

Despite attempts to deliver conclusions of the Wills Project consultation before the end of the year, the Law Commission have been delayed by a Marriage Project which will take precedence.

In 2013, the Law Commission conducted a public consultation on the contents of the 12th programme of Law Reform.

Based on the consultation, leading representative legal bodies highlighted where the Victorian law is failing modern society. In particular, the areas of testamentary capacity and formalities were considered.

Since the initial consultation, the Law Commission have focused on ways to update the Wills Act of 1837 and the currently used capacity measure from 1870.

It is anticipated that the report will propose clear changes on the test for capacity to take into account the modern understanding of conditions like dementia. This will help to create a practical guidance for doctors and other professionals when making a capacity assessment for Wills.

Using the findings from the Marriage will certainly help to inform the Wills report and law surrounding inheritance. A more up to date consideration of the modern family should be taken into account. According to the ‘The Will writing industry in 2018 report,’ people who are married or in a civil partnership as well as those that are separated or divorced are more likely to have a Will than adults who state that they are living as married without the legal documentation to accompany their lifestyle.

Over half (58%) of adults who are married or in a civil partnership have a Will compared to only 30% of respondents who are living as married. It is clear that more clarity is needed on people without a legal connection through marriage or civil partnership. The law needs to take this growing section of society into account when making inheritance laws to avoid the intended beneficiary from losing out because they have limited legal rights.

APS Legal & Associates – Estate Planning & Will writing willing to help residents from Bexhill, Battle, Rye, Hastings or anywhere else in East Sussex.

Source: Today's Wills and Probate

This message was added on Thursday 24th January 2019

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