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Last Will and Testament

Making your Will legal whilst self-isolating

28th May 2020 by Kate Mansfield

Categories: Covid-19
Tags: , ,

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 or 01202 755981 today.

Kate Mansfield

Partner — Private Client

Direct dial: 01202 377853


kate mansfield
  • “We have had the pleasure of Kate’s sensitive and unwavering professional support for a number of years. She has always been able to combine her deep expertise, with practical context and a tone of voice that gently escorts you through, often difficult decisions. We could not recommend Kate highly enough, both professionally and personally.”

    Simon Bennett

  • “Kate was extremely knowledgeable, straightforward to deal with as well as sympathetic during what was a difficult time. I felt in good hands!”

    Elisabeth Bonelli

  • “We were treated with respect and felt our wishes were taken in consideration. The patience shown in helping us understand the implications of decisions was outstanding.”

    Francesca Remix

  • “Very efficient and welcoming. Understood my access requirements and my unique concerns thoroughly.”

    Hannah Fielding (wheelchair user)

  • “Mrs Mansfield has been exemplary in every respect. She is an excellent listener and has the ability to explain complex issues patiently and emphatically. We are fortunate in having her as our legal adviser.”

    Neville Osrin

  • “Professional, always available for a phone enquiry. Always informed me as thing's progressed. Excellent company with very pleasant and helpful front of house. My sincere thanks.”

    Susan Dawn Godfrey

  • “Kate took the trouble to understand the particularities affecting my Will and found sensible ways of dealing with them.”

    Peter Andrews

Kate is head of our Private Client Team and has 25 years’ experience in private client work, specialising in wills, tax planning and estate administration. Kate has worked in this area since she qualified and has assisted thousands of families and individuals.

Kate qualified as a solicitor in 1995 after obtaining a 2.1 in Law from the University of Kent. She completed her training contract with Laceys and became a partner in 2002.

Kate is a full member of the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners (STEP) and sat on the STEP committee for 6 years. She has also taught on the Legal Executives course at Bournemouth & Poole College.

Kate enjoys the personal side of the work and the satisfaction of assisting the bereaved and families with complex affairs, whether it be complex financial aspects or those where a diplomatic hand is required. She prides herself on being able to explain the legal position in plain English.

Out of the office she enjoys keeping fit. She enjoys going to the gym and getting out into the Dorset countryside on her road bike. Cooking, particularly baking, is also a passion.

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