Legal News | 3.02.22
Lights, Camera, Attestation …. Virtual Will signing- is it here to stay?
As regular readers know, changes in legislation during the pandemic allowed a Will to be witnessed via video technology. Under section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 a Will must be signed by the testator ‘in the presence of’ two witnesses; this definition was extended to include virtual as well as physical presence. This extension now applies until January 2024.
Video witnessing might seem like the perfect answer – whether you’ve become a video call aficionado, you’re still keen on social distancing or just find that your social circle (and thus available witnesses) has shrunk rather over the last couple of years.
However, the use of video technology should remain a last resort and you should aim to be in the physical presence of witnesses where it is safe to do so. If you are still cautious about getting too close to others, Wills witnessed through a window are considered legitimate in case law (provided there is a clear line of sight between the testator and witnesses).
Having said all that, video witnessing might indeed be the best option for you, for example if you are vulnerable and shielding. If that is the case, there are guidelines to follow and we can help you.
If you have been waiting since March 2020 for a new Will then do not wait any longer! We are here and ready to help whatever method of signing suits you.
If you would like to make a Will, do get in touch with your usual contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01380 733300, we are here and ready to help you.