10 Tips for Witnessing Your Will During the Covid-19 Lockdown

A Will is not valid unless it is witnessed correctly, in keeping with the requirements of the Wills Act 1837. Whilst it may be tempting to think you can use modern technology (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom etc) to have your Will witnessed, you should know that this is not the case.

What are the guidelines for witnessing a will?

The provisions of the current lockdown undoubtedly make it harder to get your Will validly witnessed. It is still essential to have a valid Will in place to avoid the problems associated with intestacy (when no Will is in place).

In normal times, clients come to our offices in Ormskirk to sign their Will and have their signature witnessed. However, we are increasingly being asked to send out Wills for signing by post so they can be signed at home.

When signing your Will at home try and find two witnesses who are already living together, close by. That way, when they witness your Will they are not increasing the risk of passing infection between each other and are not travelling to get to you, nor you to them.

How can I stay safe while getting my will witnessed during lockdown?

We appreciate that safety is a concern for everyone right now. So, with this in mind, here are our top 10 tips to help you get your Will signed and witnessed correctly:

  1. Contact your witnesses and agree a time and place where they can witness you sign your Will.
  2. Ask them to each have their own pen ready.
  3. Wash your hands, before you sign your Will and put it in the agreed place shortly before the agreed time – a doorstep, a garden wall, an outdoor table etc.
  4. Make sure your witnesses can see and hear you, from at least 2m distance.
  5. Confirm to them that the witnesses can see you sign your Will and go ahead and sign where indicated.
  6. Ask them to sign the will and add their details where indicated also.
  7. Thank them!
  8. Collect your Will, keeping 2m apart
  9. Store your Will safely and return it to our offices for secure storage.
  10. Wash your hands again.

How can I get more advice on witnessing a will?

If you would like any advice on getting your Will signed correctly or would like to discuss putting a Will in place, please call our offices on 01695 574 201 (Ormskirk) or 01704 504 381 or you can email us by clicking here.