During the lockdown due to the Covid-19 virus, there was a surge in demand for people wanting to write wills, but one of the challenges during this period was having them witnessed by appropriate people.
While some people decided to write their own DIY wills, there are a number of common mistakes often made in these instances. These include failing to have a will properly signed and witnessed, as well as failing to consider and account for all property, assets and money.
For over 200 years, wills in the UK have been legally required to have at least two witnesses, neither of whom can be a beneficiary of the will.
But the Sun recently reported that the government will be introducing new legislation in September that means it’s legal to witness wills virtually via a video call. That means wills signed in the presence of witnesses who are there via the likes of Zoom or FaceTime will be made legal later this year in England and Wales.
What’s more, the newspaper noted that the reforms will be backdated to 31 January 2020 to take into account the many people who struggled to have their wills witnessed in person during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government has also revealed that these measures will remain in place until 2022, although it has the right to shorten or extend them if it feels it is necessary.