Articles

  • May 2021
    Remote witnessing of wills


    The Wills Act first came about in 1837.  Since then, times have changed dramatically, not least of all due to COVID-19.  The original formalities set out in that Act have made it difficult for solicitors preparing wills and for advising people on how to ensure they are executed validly.

    Whilst many Will instructions have been taken via telephone or via a virtual meeting, one of the biggest challenges has been complying with the formality for the testator to sign or acknowledge their signature in the presence of two or more witnesses ‘present at the same time’.  The witnesses must also attest and sign.  Having COVID-19 thrown into the mix has made it almost unworkable for Solicitors to comply with the Act, particularly during lockdown. 

    To assist, the Ministry of Justice, announced temporary rules, which will apply to wills made between 31 January 2020 and 31 January 2022.  These enable the witnesses to ‘witness’ virtually via video link.  This is obviously not ideal, bearing in mind the possible risks involved, such as ‘undue influence’.

    We are in the process of reopening our doors (strictly by appointment only) for those who need it and are of course happy to advise and assist clients with the Will signing process to ensure Wills are validly executed.  If you would like to discuss making a Will, or updating one you already have, please get in touch with our private client team who can advise the best way forward.  

    This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive.  Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.

    back to articles...
Like most websites...
...Jackamans uses cookies in order to deliver a personalised, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. These cookies are completely safe and secure and will never contain any sensitive information. They are used only by Jackamans and will not be shared with anyone else.
Read our cookies policy

how we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Jackamans collects personal information.

visitors to our websites

When someone visits a www.jackamans.co.uk we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

use of cookies by Jackamans

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

the cookies we use

acceptance Cookie

When you accept cookies from our site we write a cookie called jm_c_opt_in to your machine. This stores your acceptance so that when you return to our site in the future you will not have to accept cookies again.

system cookies

A set of system cookies are used to store information allowing functionality. These include data relating to a users membership, such as log-in details, if the user has signed up to any memberships on the site.

Google analytics

We store analytics cookies on your computer as soon as you visit this site. We need to do this to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where vistors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. These cookies are listed below:

_utma

_utmb

_utmc

_utmz

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

cookie control

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.