The reform of Section 18 of the Wills Act 1837: the biggest change in 5 generations

The Law Commission of England and Wales have issued a supplementary consultation paper on reforming the law of wills in the light of recent technological and societal developments. The commission is seeking views on whether a new Wills Act should permit paperless wills, either immediately or by allowing for them to be introduced later. the paper is part of a wider review to ensure that the legislative framework governing wills – currently based on the Wills Act 1837 and case law - reflects contemporary needs.

The commission is also seeking views on the issue of ‘predatory marriages’ - in particular on whether a marriage or civil partnership should continue to revoke a pre-existing will. You can find out more at here and hereThe deadline for consultation responses is 8 December 2023.

Our speakers:

Elizabeth Welch, Lawyer, Property, Family and Trust law team, The Law Commission for England and Wales

Stephen Lawson is Head of Contentious Probate at Nicholson Jones Sutton. He is the chair of the Law Society Wills & Equity Committee and a former member of the Law Society Civil Justice Committee. Stephen is a member of both STEP and ACTAPS.

Louise Eccleston, Partner and Solicitor, Storrar Cowdry