Chester & Cheshire

Wills To Be Witnessed Over Video Calls?

As coronavirus sweeps the nation, more and more people are becoming aware of putting their affairs in order in case of the worst. Recently we have seen a huge increase in will writing solicitors in Chester over the last few months but with social distancing measures in place this could be tricky for some.

Overall it has been predicted that there has been a 76% increase in the number of people making wills throughout March this year, however, there has been concerns about how wills can be witnessed during this period of isolation. 

Current rules say that you need at least two witnesses of your will being signed - this has been a long-standing rule for almost 200 years now. The only exception to this rule has been for those in the armed forces who are allowed to make a verbal will to one of their fellow comrades. 

Since coronavirus, the Ministry of Justice has been under pressure to relax these will writing laws so those who wish to make a will during this time can whilst self-isolating.

There has been speculation as to whether writing could actually be allowed to be witnessed over video call or via text message or word document in more extreme situations. Other ways of witnessing that may be discussed are having just one witness that is a qualified professional or even allowing handwritten wills and signed wills to be accepted without the need for any witnesses. 

With more fraudsters upping their game during this time to take advantage of the vulnerable the Ministry of Justice are aware they need to get the right balance to make sure those who are aren’t targeted.

When it comes to wills getting it exactly right is imperative. During this time especially it is going to be a struggle to manage and there could be even more difficulties in the months or years to come.

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