The Government has announced a change in the law regarding witnessing wills. Any wills witnessed remotely will be legally accepted in England and Wales.
The change will be backdated to 31st January, when the first coronavirus case in the UK was confirmed and will remain in place until January 2022.
The Ministry of Justice said: “The time period could be shortened or extended if deemed necessary”.
The law states for a will to be legal you must:
During the coronavirus lockdown lots of people communicated using video conferencing software, zoom or FaceTime.
Ministers said: “Wills will be deemed legal using video software as long as the sound and quality of the video is sufficient to hear and see what is happening”.
In September 2020, the change to the legislation will be made and include video witnessing of wills.
The Government said: “Electronic signatures will not be permitted and 2 witnesses (not beneficiaries) will still be required to help protect people against undue influence and fraud”.
The use of video to witness a will, should be used as a last resort and where safe to do so continue with physically witnessing wills.
This should have been done years ago and indeed should not be turned off after coronavirus, it should continue.