Virtual Will Signings
At the start of the pandemic we were all attempting to adjust to our circumstances and a new, socially distanced world. Our offices, in addition to many other law offices around the country, were closed to the public to help stop the spread of Covid.
Unfortunately, this left a question as to how Wills could be validly signed. Previously, a Will must have been signed in the presence of two witnesses who then sign, as witnesses, in the presence of the Testator.
To tackle this, the Government brought in new and temporary legislation to ensure that Wills could continue to be made using video-conferencing technology to allow for the remote witnessing of Wills. This has meant that the Testator and his two witnesses can all sign on separate dates and locations albeit still in the virtual presence of each other by way of a video-conference.
This began from the date of the first registered Covid case in England and Wales; 31 January 2020 and was to end on 31st January 2022.
The Government have now confirmed that they will be extending this legislation and allowing for the virtual witnessing Wills until 31st January 2024.
This will allow any clients who are still shielding, self-isolating or unable to attend at a law office to continue to get their affairs in order and execute a valid Will.
Whilst our offices are now open to the public (and we can set up a Will and act as witness via a face to face appointment for anyone who prefers this option), we have maintained our streamlined process to assist with people who cannot come to our office and wish to create Wills virtually through a video-conference via (but not limited to) Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime or WhatsApp.
If you would like to arrange an appointment or speak with a member of our staff to discuss reviewing or setting up a Will, face to face or virtually through a video conference, please contact one of our highly experienced Wills and Estate Planning experts on 01702 474149 (Leigh on Sea and Southend) or 01268774073 (Rayleigh).