A word of caution to Will Writers

As a litigator, I am always mindful of protecting our firm from claims, especially with the prices of PII soaring. 

So it was deeply concerning to read that 25% of will writers have taken instructions by email and 8% via Whats App. I cannot see how any professional, conscientious will writer can judge capacity, exclude undue influence and take clear instructions by anything other than a conversation with the testator.

If this later opens the will up to a contest in years to come, this leaves the will writer very vulnerable to a negligence claim and it is nevertheless poor practice. 

I have previously given webinars/training on how will writers can avoid negligence claims. If you are interested in future events or would like the notes then do contact me.


Will writers concerned about pandemic wills being challenged The COVID pandemic has almost tripled the number of will writers offering remote services in England and Wales, according to the Trends in Will Writing survey conducted by Capacity Vault Ltd.  Run in December 2020, the study asked members of the Society of Will Writers and Institute of Professional Will Writers about their experiences of writing wills during the pandemic. The results showed that 95% of will writers surveyed have taken instructions remotely since the start of the COVID pandemic, up from 32% before March 2020. 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 WhatsApp chat.