Your Drunk Texts Could Be Used As Your Will After You Die, According To New Law
Jamie Foxx and T-Pain may have said that you can blame it on the alcohol – but upcoming changes to the law may soon render that claim invalid.
People who have died without leaving a will may have their text messages, emails and voice mails used to convey their last wishes instead.
The Law Commission is an independent body, which helps advise ministers on the law, and they have proposed a new law that allows the courts to “recognise a will that would not be valid under existing formality rules, but where the will-maker has made clear their intentions“.
This means that in rare cases where no other evidence can be used, drunk texts that convey the deceased intentions clearly may be considered instead.
According to The Mirror, one example could be if the family of a car crash victim (who has previously made no formal will, but has several documents on their phone) appeal to the court to have the texts of the victim recognised as a formal will. If a judge approves this, then texts, emails or voice mails could be accepted in place of a will.
40% of people die without making a will, according to the Law Commission, and they have claimed that the rules of the law need updating because they are “out of step with the modern world“.
They have also suggested that the age for making a will should be lowered to 16-years-old (the legal age is currently 18-years-old).
“Testators (people making a will) who do not follow the formality rules – either through ignorance of them or necessity – are increasingly likely to use electronic means. For example, a person who is seriously ill in hospital may have more immediate access to a tablet or smartphone than to a pen and paper, and may be more able to speak than to write.” A consultation document from the Law Commission reads.
“Even when it’s obvious what someone wanted, if they haven’t followed the strict rules, courts can’t act on it […] That’s not right and we want an overhaul to bring the law into the modern world. Our provisional proposals will not only clarify things legally, but will also help to give greater effect to people’s last wishes.”
You can have your say about their decision by clicking on the link in the tweet below:
— Law Commission (@Law_Commission) July 14, 2017
Let us know what you think in the comments!
Images via iStock/Twitter/Giphy