How will I get my Will witnessed during the Coronavirus lockdown?
30 March 2020 by Andrea Godfrey
The Government have announced that they are urgently considering the validity requirements for Wills in light of Covid-19. Because of the current situation sadly, Wills are at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.
Immediate concerns are “how will it work” if I cannot see my Solicitor face to face to get the Will signed. The requirement for signing wills under the Wills Act 1837 is quite strict. In order for your Will to be legally valid it needs to be in writing and it has to be signed by the testator in the presence of two independent witnesses who must be present at the same time. With the need to isolate and abide by social distancing, this could cause difficulties.
The witnesses have to be independent so they cannot be beneficiaries or family members. To fulfil the requirement what is important, is the line of vison. So you can ask adjacent neighbours to witness and sign the Will from their own garden provided that you can all see the other sign and it’s done at the same time.
The government may possibly consider the ability to witness Wills via a video link or e-signatures but until they do, the current rules apply. We of course can help you with your Will needs. We can initially take instructions over a video link such as Microsoft teams, WhatsApp and Skype etc. We can then send you the Will to approve. If you have difficulties finding witnesses, rest assured we are here for you. We may be able to watch you through a window, or patio door or even outdoors as long as we can comply with the Government directions that are made from time to time.
At FJG Solicitors we do not charge for Wills. There are no catches and the service is the exact same as you would expect if you were indeed paying for your Wills. All we ask is that you consider leaving a donation to any charity of your choice for any amount in your Will. It is not compulsory to do this and if you decide not to gift any money to charity, your Will is still be free of charge. So for that reason you will also not be charged if we have to pop around to see you at home to sign the Wills.
Also, we can confirm that we have partnered with Bequeathed so you can prepare your Wills in the comfort of your home. If you would like to use this service, then just use link (https://www.fjg.co.uk/bequeathed). Once you have clicked on the link the Bequeathed site will prompt you to…“Start your Will”. If you require our legal advice when completing your Will then of course we can help, call 01206 700113 or email [email protected].
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