The terrifying C-19 Pandemic has caused many to face up to their mortality. Consequently, many people have been thinking about Wills. It is a requirement in English Law that there are two adult independent witnesses to a Will. Anecdotally, there have been many Wills executed using modern technology such as by Zoom, Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp. Unlike Scottish Law, English Law requires the witnesses to be physically present so that all such Wills are rendered invalid. Luckily though the Government has announced that it will retrospectively validate such Wills made after the 31st January 2020 and any new Wills witnessed remotely before the 31st January 2020 may also be valid.
This interim legislation is due in September 2020 but there is always a risk that it might not happen. It is very unusual for retroactive legislation to be made as it undermines the certainty of the Law. In this case, so many have unwittingly committed a faux pas, it does make sense.
The rules for making valid Wills are highly technical. It is sound advice not to be tempted to treat them as a DIY task. Fortunately, simple Wills come at a modest price from qualified professionals at £200.00 plus VAT upward and often with a discount for married couples. By all means contact our Mr Trayford, Mr Willatt or Mr Waller through firstname.lastname@example.org.