Monday, 7 September 2020

Covid-19:Wills: New Law on Witnesses

A testamentary trio. That's what the law of England and Wales requires to make a will valid. The willmaker and two witnesses, all physically together at the same time and able to see and smile at each othet. But the pandemic has made this impossible in many cases. Some wills have been signed up virtually using special software. Opinions are divided on whether or not this satisfies legal requirements. Have no fear. The law is changing retrospectively under the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications)(Amendment) (Coronavirus)Order 2020 SI 2020/952 made today 07 September 2020 and coming into force in three weeks' time. Wills made after 30 January 2020 and for two years from then will be legally okay if video witnessed. This period may be shortened or lengthened in due course.