More than seven out of ten people would not want their will to be drafted using artificial intelligence (AI), according to VWV's latest survey and as law firms are increasingly adopting AI in legal matters

However, the British public gave a cautious welcome to other types of technology. For example, 52 per cent of respondents said they would like to have a digital will, accessible online. At present, the law requires a will to be in hard copy.

However, fewer than five per cent of respondents thought that it should be possible to make a will using text message. This is despite a recent Australian case where an unsent text message was accepted as a valid will. Creating a will by email was more popular, with 48 per cent of respondents saying they thought it should be possible to make a will by email.

Fraud was a concern in relation to wills made online and nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they would be more concerned about fraud with a digital will.

With most of the law relating to wills dating back to the Victorian era, the Law Commission is currently reviewing whether the formalities should be relaxed and has acknowledged a need for modernisation.

When it comes to administering the estates of people who have died, more than half of those who had acted as an executor or administrator said they found the process of swearing the oath old-fashioned. There was a great deal of support for the idea that it should be possible to apply for a grant online, something that has been possible since last year.

In short, what the survey shows is that whilst technology has its place, individuals are understandably anxious about ensuring that their Wills are drafted, and estates administered, by human beings.

  • Megan Seabourne is a partner in the private client team at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford.