Law Reform on Remote Will Signing

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The government announced on 25 July 2020 that new legislation would be introduced in September 2020 that will mean that all Wills signed “remotely” from 31 January 2020 will be deemed legally executed.

The current rules on will signing are contained in the Wills Act 1837 which sets out that the testator (the person making their will) must sign the will in the presence of 2 witnesses. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, some people have been isolating or shielding and have had to rely on platforms such as Zoom or Teams to sign their wills. The new law will mean that this is an effective way for the wills to be signed and valid, as long as the video is of sufficient quality to show that all witnesses were present at the same time and it is clear what is going on.

The proposed change is likely to remain in place until 31 January 2022, or as long as is deemed necessary. Following this date, the previous rules are likely only to apply. If you require any further advice in respect of probate or will matters then please contact a member of our team who will be happy to assist.

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