How can I get a Will signed and get it witnessed with the restrictions in place?Jul 31, 2020
While protecting us, the recent and ongoing lockdown safety measures have caused no end of problems and issues. The restrictions were imposed to protect the public against the risk of contracting the virus. However, they have also raised the question about how people can go about getting a will signed, and witnessed, safely.
Those people who are currently shielding have found this particularly difficult. In order to provide more opportunities to have their Will signed, the Government will introduce a new ‘statutory instrument’ in September. For the first time, this will allow individuals to sign their Will with witnesses using apps like Skype and Zoom. The use of video conferencing software in general will be backdated to 31 January 2020.
Concerns have however been expressed that this style of witnessing could lead to an increase in disputes. This is primarily because of the uncertainty surrounding the conditions during which the Will was signed. It would be very difficult to know if anyone out of shot was exerting pressure on the individual to sign. Even if they were able to show a 360 degree view of the room, someone could be nearby.
The Will would also have to be provided to the witnesses for them to complete their details. These could be mislaid or intercepted during the period of sending them to the witnesses.
More preferable suggestions for the signing of the will include the shielding individual to sit in their car. The witness then watches the signing of the Will from outside of the vehicle. Or the witness could stand at a safe distance while the Will is signed indoors.
We’re open and here to help!
Here at Nash & Co Solicitors, we are able to offer something even more simple. Our team can provide a full Will service. This would include the provision of witnesses at a safe distance whether outside your home or here at our office. The office is clean, safe and open. We have a number of large meeting rooms that would guarantee the opportunity to safely ‘socially distance’. These rooms are cleaned each time after they are used. And we have plenty of hand sanitiser available!
Our Wills team are available if you’d like to discuss the preparation of a Will or have any questions. Please do not hesitate to contact David Cornelius on (01752) 827076 ([email protected]) who would be happy to help you.