Remote Witnesses for Signing a Will has Ended

Published / Last Updated on 16/02/2024

During the Covid-19 lockdown periods of 2020 and 2021, many people had difficulty in signing and then getting their will witnessed in person.

In 2020, the Law Commission allowed a concession that wills could be signed and witnessed remotely e.g., over a video conference call.

Concession Review

The Law Commission confirmed that the concession for remote signatures and witnesses stopped on 31 January 2024, and we have now reverted to the original laws in England and Wales as follows:

Wills Act 1837 -  Wills are not valid unless:

  • The Will is in writing and signed by you (the testator).
  • You sign under your own free will and not under any duress i.e. by signing it is your intention that the Will comes into force.
  • Your signature is witnessed in the presence of two or more witnesses, and they also sign to confirm their presence when you signed.


Whilst it was helpful to have the concession, we are not sure how many people used it and from our experience, most of our will clients, during pandemic lockdown breaks managed to get witnesses face to face.

That said, there are still many people that must isolate anyway, not just for mutated strains of Covid-19 but also for other illnesses and conditions.  Perhaps the Law Commission should revisit this and allow remote witnessing where there is a Medical Practitioner’s note to confirm that an individual has been advised to isolate.

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