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Electronic Wills

بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ

Electronic Wills

Many countries, including the UK, allowed paper wills to be witnessed virtually during the pandemic. Since then, some countries have brought in permanent reforms to allow electronic wills. For instance, the United States introduced the Uniform Electronic Wills Act (E-Wills Act) in July 2019. This act allows testators to create, sign, notarise, and execute a valid will online. It also grants probate courts the authority to recognise electronic wills. The UAE allows video Wills.

In October 2023, the U.K.'s Law Commission launched a consultation on the legal framework governing wills which will most likely require new legislation. Any provision for electronic wills would need to ensure that they are as secure as paper wills. 

In the UK, the intersection of electronic Wills, crypto-assets, and predatory marriages presents a complex legal landscape with potential risks. Electronic Wills, while not yet legally recognized, offer a digital means to manage one’s estate, which could include crypto-assets—a form of digital asset that is increasingly integrated into estate planning due to its growing economic significance. However, the anonymous and decentralized nature of crypto-assets can complicate the execution of a Will, especially when considering the UK’s stringent requirements for Will validation

In Sharīʿa, a wasiyya (Islāmic Will) can be oral, written or by gesture (under special circumstances). In classical law the wasiyya does not require any formalities; no specific method of expression is required for its validity.  No specific wording is necessary for making a wasiyya. The intention of the testator must be clear and unequivocal that the wasiyya is to be executed after his death. There is no consensus amongst the scholars that witnesses are a condition for the validity of a wasiyya. The Qurʾān āyah 5:106 is considered to be a recommendation for having witnesses and not a compulsory requirement.



A. Hussain, April 2024