Can you create a will whilst in self-isolation?
COVID-19 and Wills
During this very curious and rather worrying time, it may be that you have turned your mind to sorting out the ‘to-do’ list. “Get Will done” is often one of those things that’s been languishing at the bottom of the list for many people.
There are various issues to bear in mind with regards to making your Will in the situation we currently find ourselves in, ranging from how to give your instructions to your solicitor when unable to meet face to face, to having the Will witnessed. How is one supposed to do that while self-isolating or if you are in the category of most vulnerable people who should avoid leaving their house or proximity with others?
Here’s the bit about signing!
You do have the sign the document yourself – electronic signatures are not accepted on Wills. You also need the signatures of two witnesses and they do have to be physically present – again electronic signatures are not allowed. At the moment these requirements have not been relaxed to adapt for the current position.
To obtain the needed signatures, there are various ways this can be done in the current challenging circumstances. For example it may be that the witnesses could view the signing through a window in view of you and each other.
When we send you your draft Will, we’ll include specific information about how to make sure you sign it correctly so that it will be valid.
Rules about witnesses
The rules state that the witnesses must:
- be present at the time of signing
- sign the Will to confirm they saw you (the Testator) sign
- not be a beneficiary of any assets in the Will otherwise this makes the Will invalid
- be of sound mind and know what they are witnessing (however they don’t need to see the contents of the Will)
- be over the age of 18
- be regarded as independent i.e. they must not be close relatives.