Law Commission supplementary consultation on wills

Closes 8 Dec 2023

Opened 5 Oct 2023


This is a public consultation by the Law Commission for England and Wales.

The law governing wills is largely a product of the Victorian era. It is governed by both legislation – primarily, the Wills Act 1837 – and case law, some of which has been developing for hundreds of years. Although in some respects the law of wills has been able to respond to modern circumstances and understandings, we nevertheless think it is in need of comprehensive review, to ensure that the law governing this important topic remains fit for purpose today. Accordingly, the Law Commission is conducting a general review of the law governing wills.

The wills project began in 2016. In July 2017, we published the Consultation Paper, Making a Will. The public consultation period followed, and closed in November 2017. In 2019 we paused the wills project to undertake a project on the law governing weddings, having agreed to Government’s request to prioritise work on weddings. In autumn 2022, we recommenced the wills project.

This Supplementary Consultation Paper focuses on two specific topics: electronic wills and the rule that a subsequent marriage or civil partnership revokes a will. Developments since the time of the Consultation Paper have caused us to re-examine these issues. We suspect that consultees’ views on these issues may also have shifted.

We are unaware of other developments, in the past six years, which would alter consultees’ views on the other issues we are considering within this project. Accordingly, this Supplementary Consultation Paper does not re-examine any of the other issues we considered in the 2017 Consultation Paper.

We recommend that consultees read the Supplementary Consultation paper before responding to the consultation. A shorter summary is also available. You can access both documents here. Consultees do not need to answer all the questions if they are only interested in some aspects of the consultation.

About the Law Commission

The Law Commission is a statutory body, created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 (“the 1965 Act”) for the purpose of promoting the reform of the law. It is an advisory Non Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Law Commission is independent of Government. For more information about the Law Commission please click here.

Respond to our consultation


  • Anyone from any background


  • Law
  • Probate
  • UK Law