Video Will Witnessing Law Ends

The temporary legislation allowing video witnessing of Wills has come to an end.

Remote Witnessing

The amendment to the Wills Act 1837 was put in place during the national lockdowns. It allowed the signing of Wills to be witnessed online using video links such as Zoom. The government gave guidance at that time to recommend that video witnessing Wills should be regarded as a last resort due to increased risks of formalities not being properly followed.

In January 2022, the temporary legislation was extended for a further two years. At this time the Law Commission were considering potential reforms to the law around Wills.

The future of remote witnessing

The government has not extended the temporary legislation meaning witnesses to the signing of any new Wills after 1st February 2024 need to be present in person and follow the strict requirements of the Wills Act 1837 to ensure that the Will is valid.

Did you Make a Will with remote witnessing?

There have been concerns amongst professionals and the government that video witnessing of Wills could increase the potential for increase in fraud and undue influence which would give rise for a potential claim against the person’s estate when they die.

If you made a Will during lockdown using video witnessing, it would be recommended to have your Will reviewed particularly if there are concerns that there could be a dispute after your death.  It would be possible to re-execute the Will in the conventional way which could protect against future dispute.

If you wish to make a Will or review a Will made during lockdown using video witnesses get in touch with our friendly life planning team who will be happy to help.

Emma Hartley
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