Will writers concerned about ‘Pandemic Wills’ being challenged.

Due to the disastrous fallout of the ‘COVID 19 Coronavirus Pandemic’ the number of will writers offering remote services in England and Wales has almost tripled, according to the ‘Trends in Will Writing’ survey conducted by ‘Capacity Vault Ltd’.

The survey, which was conducted in December 2020, asked members of the ‘Society of Will Writers’ and the ‘Institute of Professional Will Writers’ about their differing experiences of writing wills during the ‘Covid 19 Pandemic’.

The results showed that 95% of will writers in the UK that were surveyed, had taken ‘Instructions Remotely’ since the start of the ‘COVID 19 pandemic’, this figure is up from 32% before March 2020.

The survey also found that the most common ways of taking instructions remotely included, video calls (79%), over the phone (66%) and by email (25%). Almost ‘One In Ten’ will writers (8%) had taken instructions via ‘Text Message’ or via the ‘Face Book Owned’ messaging service ‘WhatsApp chat’.

The ‘Capacity Vault Ltd’ survey results, largely agree with the findings of the ‘SRA’ (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and ‘Oxford University’ publication: ‘Technology And Innovation In Legal Services Report‘, published last year, this revealed that the area of:-  ‘Wills, Probate and Trusts’ ranked highly in ‘Early Tech Adopter Surveys’, scoring as the second largest group of respondents currently using, or planning to use ‘Legal Technology’.

However, ‘Capacity Vault’s’ survey indicates that Will Writers are concerned about ‘Remote Wills’ being challenged in court. Almost half of those surveyed (45%) believed that clients of ‘traditional will writers’ lacked protection from ‘challenge on capacity grounds’. This increased to 86% for clients of ‘online will services’. Similar worries were raised about protection from ‘undue influence’ and ‘fraud’.

Will writing professionals have adapted to provide their services remotely. This brings greater risk of challenge to wills. Fortunately new technologies can protect clients’ wishes. AI and blockchain technologies can reduce the need for time-consuming legal and medical professional’s reports,” said Oliver Asha, solicitor and founder of ‘Capacity Vault Ltd’.

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