Most of the UK have been isolating over the past few weeks to reduce the risk of spreading and contracting the coronavirus.
This may encourage people in isolation to create their own DIY Will. However, a critical part of making a Will legally binding is signing it in the correct way. According to English and Welsh law, a Will must be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses and with ‘wet ink’, meaning there is no way for a Will to be signed digitally.
Given how important it is not to put off signing your Will during lockdown one option is to arrange for both of your witnesses to watch through a closed window as you sign your Will. They would then need to sign the Will as witnesses but be aware that it is suggested that the virus can live on paper for up to 12 hours, so ensure that you either use sanitisers or gloves and separate pens to avoid all possibilities of contracting COVID-19.
Once you all have the correct equipment in place, you can pass your Will through the letterbox. You will need to return to the window to watch your witnesses both add their details and signatures to your Will, and then return it to you via the letterbox.
Solicitors are also able to help with this and witness the signing of a Will. Beneficiaries of the Will cannot however be witnesses.
How can I find a lawyer to help with a Will during the coronavirus lockdown?
Since the UK went into lockdown at the end of March, face-to-face options are no longer available. Fortunately, we can still write and amend Wills for our clients online or over the phone.
To speak to a specialist at Debenhams Ottaway, please call us on 01727 837161. From there we can work with you via email, telephone, and video link (i.e. Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc.) to best suit your needs.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.