Remote witnessing of Wills now permittable in England and Wales
REMOTE WITNESSING OF WILLS NOW PERMITTABLE IN ENGLAND AND WALES
On 25th July 2020, it was announced that a Will is valid where witnesses have witnessed a signing via video link. The change in law will be backdated to 31st January 2020 and will remain in place until January 2022.
Under the current law, a Will can only be valid when signed in front of two independent witnesses who are physically present during the time of the signing. In light of the impact of the Coronavirus virus however and the difficulty faced by social distancing, the government has decided that witnessing via video link, such as using Zoom or FaceTime, is permittable.
Witnesses must still remain independent of the person signing (i.e. must not be named under the Will and not a family member) and electronic signatures are not permitted.
Whilst this is a welcome change to many, particularly those with health conditions and who struggle to find two witnesses, the government has urged this as a last resort, favouring witnesses actually being present during the signing.
To discuss any issues raised within this article or if you require advice about your Will, contact our Wills, Trusts & Probate team on 01752 660384.
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