22/04/2020

Don’t take short-cuts on Wills during COVID-19

Samuel Thornton

It is reported that the government is looking at changing requirements around witnessing a Will in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Currently a Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two independent witnesses, but the Ministry of Justice is consulting with the Law Society to consider relaxing the signing requirements.  

Sam Thornton, an associate solicitor in the Wills and Estates department at Thursfields, said: “While anything that makes putting a Will in place more accessible and safer is to be welcomed, the last thing the public needs is to be exposed to uncertainty and risk. The government recently designated ‘solicitors acting in the execution of wills’ as key workers during the COVID-19 restrictions, but this did not extend to all will writers generally.

Does this key worker guidance in favour of wills solicitors mean we could we be about to see a relaxation of the formalities for signing a Will when self-isolating, but only where a solicitor is acting? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, however quickly and simply people want to make their Wills, we would recommend that they instruct a properly qualified, regulated and insured expert. This will ensure that everything conforms to the highest quality and that loved ones are not left to deal with potentially costly or unexpected issues.”

To enquire about making a Will during Covid-19, please contact Thursfields on 0345 207 3728 or email info@thursfields.co.uk.

Samuel Thornton

Sam Thornton,

Associate Solicitor, Wills & Estates

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