Making a Will during the COVID-19 pandemic

OCT 28th, 2020

Making a Will during the COVID-19 pandemic

The technology of today has been invaluable during the coronavirus pandemic, however until recently, making a Will could not be done digitally. Wills have always required two independent witnesses to be present at the signing which has been rendered impossible thanks to social distancing, particularly for those shielding or self-isolating.

To deal with this, the government have now introduced measures to change the signing formalities for period of time in England and Wales. New legislation put in place this year permit virtual witnessing of Wills via video-link; legislation that is set to remain in place until at least January 2022.

This means much of the process has been sped up, with the will-maker able to fulfil much of their role over the phone, through video-call or passing documents through the post.

For instances of it being absolutely necessary for the Will to be written using the conventional, pre-COVID method, the government has clarified their advice; the two independent witnesses can be present in person with the will-maker. It is acceptable for this to be done with the parties a short distance from each other, whether outside or in adjacent rooms, or through a window or open door of a house or vehicle.

We continue to work with our clients to explore all options to carry out their wishes and so please contact us for more information and if you need to sign a new Will.