During this difficult period of lockdown and self-isolation MW are using all available technology to ensure that it is business as usual for clients especially when people are wanting to make a Will.
Regional Partner & Head of Court of Protection
The health and wellbeing of our staff and clients is paramount to us which means that we are unable to offer face to face appointments. We are able to offer a range of alternative meeting types by email, post, telephone or video conferencing – whichever meets your needs best.
Once we have your instructions we will prepare the draft of your Will for you to approve. Once the Will is approved the next step is to arrange for it to be signed. A Will needs to be signed by you in the presence of two independent witnesses. This means that you and the witnesses need to be able to see each other when the Will is signed. Your beneficiaries or the spouses of beneficiaries cannot be a witness. As people are currently unable to interact with anyone outside of their household this usually means that there is no one in the house who is able to act as a witness. This is not something that can be done by a video link which makes matters difficult when having to social distance and keep two metres apart from others.
At the moment, the creative way forward is to arrange to sign a Will with witnesses watching through a window. If the two witnesses can stand two metres apart and see you sign the Will through a window, then Will can then be passed to them (either through a letterbox or keeping two metres apart) for them to sign. Alternatively, everyone would need to ensure that they are keeping more than two metres apart at all times. People may wish to wear gloves when doing this and there is no need to all use the same pen so everyone can keep their own if they would prefer.
It is also suggested that this be videoed, if possible, should anyone ever question if it was dealt with correctly.
Another option would be to re-sign the Will in the usual fashion once the current guidance is lifted.
Discussions are ongoing with the Government to try and relax the rules on signing Wills due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions but until any changes are made we all have to try to deal with matters the best that we can to ensure that Wills are validly executed.
We Can Help
At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", a maxim which is even more relevant in these unprecedented times. We hope that you find this information useful and please contact us should.
If you are in any doubt as to your need for a Will, want to update your Will or if you require any assistance with any other matter, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback at your convenience.