Judges hearing contested will disputes could be given ‘dispensing powers’ under radical proposals that would also pave the way for electronic – and even video – wills.

Current formality provisions in the 1837 Wills Act require a will to be in writing and signed by two witnesses at the same time. The rules are strict and the courts are bound to reject a will as not valid if any of these requirements are not met, even in circumstances where there is convincing evidence of the true wishes of the testator.

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