Coronavirus your Will and the Drive Through

As we continue through these uncertain times many people have started to think about their future and getting their affairs in order, so much so that new instructions for Wills have apparently risen by 30%!

However, Coronavirus places some obstacles in the process of completing a new will. 

The Will Act 1837 states that in order for a will to be deemed valid, it must comply with the following criteria: 

  1. The Will needs to be in writing;
  2. The Will needs to be signed by the person making the Will, and this signature which must be witnessed by two independent witnesses; 
  3. Those witnesses must also sign the Will to confirm that they have witnessed the signature of the person making the Will. 

Point 1 is easily adhered to; we can prepare and finalise a document ready for your signature. 

However, point 2 and 3 require slightly more thought as they appear to be at odds with the current social distancing guidance. Electronic signatures or remote signatures are not yet possible for Wills, (although there is much discussion in the legal press about whether this should be changed); so many people may turn to those with whom they are self-isolating, to witness their signature. However, it is likely that those with whom you are isolating will be the very people you intend to benefit with by your Will, and if so, then as beneficiaries they will be unable to benefit from your Will if they have witnessed it! 

It is for this reason that Barrett & Co will now be offering a ‘drive-through’ Will signing service to have your Will witnessed. By prior arrangement, you will be able to drive into the car park behind our Queens Road office and have your Will independently witnessed by two members of staff. We will witness your signature from a safe distance, thus ensuring that your Will meets the legal requirements for execution, and those of safe distancing. 

Get in Touch

If you would be interested in our drive through Will signing service, preapring a new Will, or would just like some more information about how to have your Will witnessed, please speak to a member of our Private Client team on 0118 958 9711 or at [email protected]

Further Reading:

Coronavirus: the end of happily ever after (at least for now)?

The problems with low-cost DIY Wills

The Legal World is Modernising During the Covid-19 Outbreak

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Salisbury House, 54 Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4AZ. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 549694).

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