Making your Will legal whilst self-isolating
28th May 2020 by Kate Mansfield
If you cannot leave your home and have concerns about how you can make a Will legally binding (it needs to be signed by two witnesses), this can still be achieved if you are self-isolating. We can take instructions for the Will itself over the telephone in certain cases, in others via skype/facetime. Below is some guidance from Laceys regarding how wills can then be signed once done:
If you can arrange for two independent witnesses, perhaps neighbours*, who can physically see you and are both present at the same time, when you sign, then the formalities of proper execution will still be observed. You can for example be a good distance apart as long as you and your witnesses can still physically see each other. If you have a garden then, weather dependent, that would be ideal. There is some question over whether execution with a window between you is sufficient.
The Will still has to be passed between you for signature and the virus can stay on paper for up to 12 hours, we are told, so gloves should be worn. You will need to consider how the will is passed between you – perhaps being placed on something that can easily be pushed across a floor/garden. The usual advised guidelines for Coronovirus should still be observed ie wash your hands thoroughly before you start the will signing process, wear gloves if you have them, and wash your hands thoroughly after signing.
Once signed do not attach anything to the Will and keep it in safe place, returning it to your solicitor in due course.
*Witnesses need to be not related to you and are not referred to, or in any way interested under the terms of the Will (e.g. as executor or beneficiary or as husband or wife of an executor or beneficiary)
If you would like to make or amend an existing Will please contact Kate Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 755981 today.