Changes to witnessing of Wills

Wills

Historically Wills have had to be witnessed in the physical presence of two independent witnesses for the document to be valid when presented to the courts. Due to the social distancing and isolation measures put in place to tackle the coronavirus pandemic this has made it difficult to witness Wills legally.

 

In recent months, some have taken the initiative to have Wills witnessed using platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet, in the hope that, if tested in court, this would be deemed valid. 

 

From September, Wills witnessed over video-conferencing platforms will be legally valid, the Government announced on Saturday 25 July. 

 

Though the new law will not come into effect until the autumn, the Government has said it will be backdated to apply to any Will made from 31 January 2020, when the first coronavirus case was documented in the UK.

 

Official guidance will continue to insist that the use of video technology should be a last resort with physical witnessing of Wills considered preferable, as long as it is safe to do so.

 

We understand that the idea of writing a Will can be daunting, which means that many of us put it off for another day. That is why we are offering the opportunity to have a free, informal discussion with one of our experts, either by phone or a virtual meeting.

 

Making a Will need not complicated or expensive, but it does require thought and careful planning. We can run through all the main areas you need to consider. In addition, we can discuss the advantages of drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney to look after your welfare and financial affairs during your lifetime.

 

To book an appointment, please email probate@lentells.co.uk with your contact details, letting us know a convenient time to get back to you and whether you would prefer a phone call or virtual meeting.