YES. The Government has confirmed it’s important people can continue to make wills notwithstanding the Corona Virus outbreak. They must be executed in a safe manner which has regard to social distancing.
You can leave your home to witness a friend or neighbour’s will but ideally this should not involve any significant travel. Three people can lawfully come together for the purpose of executing a will.
You should not enter or invite anyone to enter a property where its suspected or anyone has the Corona Virus or is undergoing a period of self-isolation.
We suggest the following procedure be adopted.
- To validly execute a will, you need to sign it in the presence of two independent witnesses. Both of whom must be present and sign it at the same time. See our separate note on who may be a witness.
- Contact your witnesses by phone or email and arrange a time when you can all meet together. Ideally this should be in a room which has a table and you can at all times keep 6 feet apart. (You can meet anywhere which is convenient and allows social distancing. You can do it out of doors.)
- Each person should have their own pen.
- All parties should wash their hands before meeting.
- The will should be placed on a table and ideally pinned open at the signature page.
- The Testator (person making the will) should enter the room first.
- The two witnesses should then enter but keep apart.
- The Testator signs the will in the presence of the two witnesses both of whom must see the testator sign.
- The parties then revolve around the room (or garden table) and the witnesses sign the will in turn.
- The key point is that all three are in the line of sight at all times of each other while the will is being signed by all of them
- Once all three have signed the witnesses leave in turn.
- The will is then placed in an envelope and left for 24 hours to be on the safe side untouched.
- All parties wash their hands as soon as they are home.
Garner & Hancock 2020
For further help and advice contact Garner & Hancock on 0208 232 9560.
Nigel George firstname.lastname@example.org
Jakub Kotan email@example.com