Making a Will whilst Social Distancing
We are living in very unusual times at the moment due to the global pandemic. Many people are concerned to ensure that their affairs are in order and that they have made a Will.
Social distancing measures and the protection of our vulnerable clients present a particular challenge with regard to the requirements for making a Will.
Can a Will be witnessed remotely?
The law states for a Will to be valid it must be signed by the person making the Will, or by some other person in his or her presence and by his or her direction. The Will must also be signed, or acknowledged, in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time, who must also sign the Will.
Although a Court may decide that remote or virtual witnessing could satisfy the statutory requirements, we are not confident that this would be accepted.
The Law Society is currently reviewing the position regarding the signing and witnessing of Wills, but until any new measures are introduced we will continue to advise our clients that Wills are to be signed and witnessed with the person making the Will and with the witnesses all being physically present.
To achieve this, clients can sign the Will with the required witnesses in an open area whilst observing the recommended social distance of two metres. Each party should use their own pen and the signed Will should be placed in a sealed bag once it has been signed and witnessed. Full details on how to sign the Will would be provided to our clients at the appropriate time.
If you wish to discuss the making of a Will then please contact one of our experienced lawyers on 01274 723858 and we will be happy to assist you.