Will writing during the Covid-19 pandemic

March 26, 2020

At our members’ update on Tuesday, one of our members asked an excellent question about how people who want to make a will can do so during the period of enforced social isolation.

Clearly it will be difficult to get a will legally witnessed while we are all being advised to avoid being in contact with people.

We asked our contacts at the Law Society who told us that they are in discussions with the Ministry of Justice to bring forward emergency legislation to suspend s9 and s15 of the Wills Act 1837.

This would have the effect of making the witnessing of a will the equivalent of witnessing a deed, in that it would require one witness rather than two, and would remove the clause that prohibits witnesses from benefitting from a will. This would enable people such as spouses to witness wills.

Solicitors dealing with the writing and witnessing of wills have also been registered as key workers.

We will keep you posted of any developments in this area.

By Sonya Dallat


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