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Artificial intelligence drafting wills

View profile for Leah Woodnott
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A recent survey has stated that the British public is not ready for artificial intelligence (AI) to draft their wills.

90% of those who participated in the survey stated they would not want a will drafted using AI alone, without any human input.

In England and Wales, the Wills Act 1837 applies, which sets out strict formalities to follow for a will to be valid.

Currently, a will has to be in writing and signed by the person who is making the will (or by another person in their presence and by their direction). The person must intend for their signature to give effect to the will and their signature must be made or acknowledged in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time. Each witness must then either sign the will or acknowledge the person who is making the will’s signature.

The Law Commission has been reviewing the Wills Act 1837 to take into account changes in society, technology and medical developments. They have not yet reported on their findings, but it is likely that the use of AI will be discussed. 

If you would like to keep an eye out on the Law Commission’s updates, please click the following link: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/wills/.

The survey’s results clearly show that although technology is changing, people are not ready to rely on AI to draft their wills. The British public finds comfort in seeking advice from a qualified individual whereby they know they are getting professional tax saving advice, which is up-to-date with the current legislation.

It is extremely important that the terminology in your will correctly reflects your wishes, as an error in drafting could mean that your will is not valid or does not follow your wishes. By having a professional draft your will, you are ensuring that your case is dealt with on an individual basis and that all your wishes have been correctly accounted for.

If you would like to meet with one of our legal professionals at Birkett Long to discuss making a new will, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our Wills, Trusts and Probate team. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217609 or leah.woodnott@birkettlong.co.uk.

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