Online Wills aren’t the answer for everyone
I think it will be accepted by most that there are some advantages to online wills such as costs and convenience, but I also think that it is accepted that they are not suitable for everyone.
An online will may be suitable for people in the lower risk profile of their will being challenged such as where capacity is not likely to be an issue and they have relatively simple needs. When the validity of a will is questioned on grounds such as capacity the first port of call (and often one of the main sources of evidence) is the information from the will writer who will usually have satisfied themselves that the person did have capacity to make the will. In the case of online wills this information is often minimal or non- existent which could make any claims more difficult to defend.
When considering the validity of a will there are also certain circumstances that are thought to ‘ignite the suspicion of the court’ such as change in long term testamentary wishes or wills made in favour of carers where family members are disinherited. In these circumstances its sensible to take additional steps to ensure that they are in fact that testators genuine wishes and that they have the capacity to make the Will.
At this stage we have not seen a surge in the contesting of online wills, and this may be due to the fact that the main people making them do sit within the lower risk profile. The fact that more people are encouraged to make wills can only be a good thing people just need to sure that an online will is right for them. However, an online will is still usually better than no will