Following the introduction of COVID lockdown 3 on 5 January 2021, we have released a series of articles explaining the legal impact on eight areas of daily life. This article looks at making a Will and what is allowed under the new rules.
You can still make a Will
If COVID has worried you and you would like to make a Will, then we are still here to help. Making a Will has been possible through all of the lockdowns provided appropriate precautions are taken, particularly when it comes to signing and witnessing the final document.
We can take your initial instructions by telephone or over a video call where appropriate, but we can also arrange face to face appointments where you would prefer this. We will then prepare a draft Will for your review and when you are happy we will arrange for the Will to be signed and witnessed.
Signing your Will
The law on Wills dates back to 1837, before the invention of telephones, let alone the internet and video calling. The law states that for a Will to legally binding it must be signed and witnessed in person, and that was a problem in the first lockdown in 2020 when the rules were tight and everyone was trying to make things work in a new normal.
Many Wills were signed and witnessed on car bonnets, wheelie bins and over garden fences in those early days. As a result the Government announced retrospectively that Wills can be signed and witnessed using video calling. While technically possible we believe that this is open to abuse and too easy to challenge after the event, so we are still arranging all signings in person.
The easiest way to do this is through a socially distanced and carefully managed visit to our offices in Chelmsford. We can witness your signature and ensure that your Will is correct and legally binding. If this is not possible we can arrange a home visit for the signing, but due to the current rules on visiting homes the signing has to be outside, making it rather weather dependent.
For more information on COVID and making a Will
It is never too early to protect the future for your loved ones and make a Will or indeed a Lasting Power of Attorney (see our COVID and Mental Capacity article for more details). If you have any questions, the Private Client team at Backhouse Solicitors are here to help. Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation to understand your options.
The Backhouse Solicitors Team
Tel: 01245 893400
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website