Witnessing Your Will Via Video Link During a Pandemic
Where there's a Will, there's a way!
Two independent witnesses to your signature are required when you make a Will in order for it to be legal.
As you can probably appreciate, since the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic and recommendations of social distancing, the witnessing of wills has therefore been increasingly difficult.
Thankfully, a recent change in the law has significantly eased this problem and made it much easier to complete your Will.
On 28th September 2020 the UK Government passed a temporary order allowing for witnessing wills to be completed via video link.
This temporary change in the law will remain in force until 31 January 2022 although this may be shortened or extended if deemed necessary. The measures have also been backdated to 31 January 2020 to ensure that any wills witnessed during the pandemic will be treated as valid.
Under these changes, a will witnessed via video link will be valid provided that a number of steps are taken, which includes that the will must be sent to the witnesses for them to sign via video link with the testator.
We won’t cover the steps that must be taken in full in this article but the official government guidance on the changes can be found here.
The government themselves, along with professional bodies such as STEP, urge that remotely witnessing the will should only be a last resort when physically signing the will is not possible.
Witnessing a will physically will be a far simpler process and may still be possible whilst complying with social distancing where care is taken.
However, for those who are considering making a Will during the Covid-19 Pandemic, this new relaxation of the rules means that you can still go ahead with making your Will with confidence.
If you are considering making or reviewing your own Will, please contact us for further guidance.
Ancojada Limited trading as Prosperitas Consult is not authorised or regulated to provide financial advice.
All financial advice is provided by other regulated businesses.