Undeniably, these are unprecedented and challenging times; and, as such, it’s perhaps no surprise that demand for wills is soaring. However, with many people now self-isolating and everyone practising social distancing, the technical aspects of will-making present more of a challenge.
It’s important to note that such challenges are tricky but not insurmountable. Should you have ‘making a will’ on your to-do list, our advice is not to delay. Every client we’ve had who has wanted to make a will recently has been able to do so successfully – if you’ll forgive the bad joke, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
How to Make a Will During Social Distancing
It’s highly recommended that you take legal advice before making a will. Of course, at present you cannot simply visit a lawyer in their office – but there are still ways in which to discuss confidential matters thoroughly and sensitively. We conduct client meetings via platforms like Zoom, which are extremely easy to use: all that is needed is a smart device (be it a phone, a tablet or a laptop) and an internet connection (clients receive an invitation to the online meeting and simply need to click the link in order to join).
Once your document has been prepared and you’re ready to sign your will, having it witnessed requires a little more thought. Some people have come up with really ingenious ways to get around the ‘two witness’ rule during social distancing – everything from looking through a fence to signing on car bonnets!
As in England and Wales you need two individuals to witness your signature, we’d suggest enlisting the help of a couple that you know (perhaps married neighbours). Ask if they would be willing to stand outside your home and look through the window whilst you sign the document on the inside. You could then pass the document through the letterbox so that they can add their signatures. If they’re concerned about touching the same piece of paper as you, they could wear gloves. It’s not an ideal scenario, but with goodwill and a bit of ingenuity, there are ways to make it work!
If you’re thinking of making a will, we’re open for business and here to help. Our experienced lawyers provide expert advice that takes into account all your personal circumstances. Please contact us today for a chat about your plans.
Disclaimer: this material is a general overview only, and is not intended to provide legal advice.