Can I make a will while social distancing?

April 16, 2020

 

The short answer is ‘yes’.

 

During times of uncertain people often look to make sure all of their ducks are in a row, and their family is looked after in the future. Having a will is an essential step to achieving peace of mind, it ensures your family, friends and any charities you support will receive the gifts you wish to bestow upon them.

 

If you have a device that allows video conferencing such as a laptop or computer with a camera, a smartphone or a tablet, you can still create a will safely and securely.

 

After your will instruction is taken, you will receive your completed will, which will be ready for signing.

 

For a will to be witnesses correctly, it must be signed in front of two witnesses, who are over the age of 18, of sounds mind and do not benefit from the will. An 18th century case, Casson v Dade, is being referred to rather more often than for a while. This confirmed that witnesses do not actually have to be in the presence of the testator (persons making the will) when signing the will, just within the line of sight — for instance through a window or at a suitable distance.

 

A will cannot be witnessed by skype or other social media.

 

So, we suggest if your family is currently in lockdown asking your neighbours to witness the document over the fence or through a window. If you’re still working at an office or other workplace, then ask your work colleagues. However, you must follow government guideline and keep to social distancing.

 

In summary, making a will in the current climate is very easy and simple; we just have to adapt slightly to achieve our end goal of ensuring your wishes are followed.

 

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