Solicitors should consider filming clients making their will as an aid to resolving disputes that may arise later, a KC told the Law Society’s annual private client conference.

Chairing an opening plenary session on dealing with disputes, Serle Court Chambers’ Constance McDonnell KC, who specialises in trust and probate disputes, told last week’s packed conference that wills are sometimes made for very low fees – but the duty of care remains the same. ‘Videoing the event is a very cheap way of recording what happened,’ McDonnell said.

Asked about it during questions, McDonnell said she failed to understand why videoing does not happen more often. ‘It’s cheap, easy. From the point of view of someone in court for probate trials, the judge wants to know what happened. Video is something they would watch immediately and an ideal way of showing them what happened.’

On concerns the client might get ‘stage fright’, McDonnell suggested solicitors could draft an attendance note along the lines of ‘Switched on camera, client was a bit nervous’.

She acknowledged it can go wrong, recalling a case where a lay person filmed the testator and ‘you could see the lady’s eyeballs moving because she was reading something’.

However, she added: ‘We’re in an age now where many of your clients do not use paper or pens, they’re used to being on camera, used to having a camera pointed at them…. Letters of wishes – imagine how powerful [it would be] if a matriarch or patriarch filmed why they wanted all their money to go to charity. It’s a resource that’s so underused.’

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