During these unusual times we have been meeting clients to sign their Wills in their gardens using garden furniture, car bonnets and even hot tubs as tables and we have recently starting meeting with clients for signings in our offices whilst maintaining social distances and wearing masks.
Under the current law you must have your Will witnessed in the physical presence of at least two witnesses who must be over the age of 18, not related to you and they cannot be beneficiaries under your Will nor married to someone who is a beneficiary under your Will. These rules help to protect people against undue influence and fraud and have been in place since 1837.
Moving forwards however and in response to the COVID 19 situation it is to be made legal for a Will to be witnessed via a video call in England and Wales.
Ministers have said that these changes will be backdated to 31st January 2020, when the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the UK and continue until January 2022; however the Ministry of Justice has said that the time period could be shortened or extended if deemed necessary.
It is however important to remember that the government has emphasised that the use of video technology should remain a last resort and that where it is safe to do so Wills should be signed in the physical presence of witnesses. The Private Client team here at Gepp Solicitors have continued to assist clients in completing their Wills through the COVID 19 crisis, albeit in unusual locations, and will continue to do so.
At Gepp Solicitors we offer different Will structures to cover all personal circumstances and our Solicitors can advise you on the best structure for you based on your wishes.
If you have any questions or would like to make a Will please contact our Private Client department on 01245 228125 or email PrivateClientEnq@gepp.co.uk and one of the team will be in touch to assist you.