Video witnessing of Wills has been extended to 2024

Back at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 a huge range of changes were made to help people continue to live their lives remotely. Many people were asked to work from home which presented a huge range of challenges. During this time video platforms such as Zoom, Teams and FaceTime gave people a way to connect with colleagues and loved ones. Thanks to the power of video conferencing software regulations were put in place to allow video calls to replace in person meetings for a range of legal activities.

And, while things seem to be getting back to some sort of normality, video conferencing is now part of everyday life for most people. It therefore makes sense for video witnessing to be allowed to continue with this now being extended to 31st January 2024.

How does it work?

People can legally create a Will and sign it remotely via a video call, just like they can with a face-to-face meeting. As with a traditional creation of a Will, two people must be present in order to witness the Will to help protect against undue influence and fraud.

The process of remote witnessing is very similar to in-person witnessing, but it allows for greater flexibility as you don’t need to be there in person to witness the person making the Will (the testator) signing the Will. As long as you can clearly see and hear what is happening then remote witnessing is allowed.

Are remote Wills the best option?

Wills can be extremely complex, especially where there are children from involved from more than one marriage or partnership. An experienced Wills and Probate lawyer will be able to provide the best guidance on creating a Will and ensuring that your wishes are carried out. In person meetings are usually preferable when creating and signing a Will for the simple reason that they help to ensure that there is no undue influence.

Video witnessing of Wills still has a place in the world and is particularly useful in helping those who are unable to leave their home, or vulnerable individuals.

Can I just do it myself?

It might be tempting to buy an off the shelf Will but for most people this is probably not the best option. DIY Wills tend to be fairly basic and are often open to being contested, particularly when your affairs are unconventional or complicated. If you want to ensure that your wishes are observed, then you really should be looking to have a Will created by a trained lawyer.

Having a Will created by a trained lawyer and signed in their presence really is the best way to ensure the validity of your Will. As lawyers, like Calthrops Solicitors, have to adhere to regulated standards, you can be sure that your wishes will be properly documented and won’t be open to interpretation.

What about online only services?

There are plenty of online services that have cropped up over the past couple of years. Our advice would be to be extremely cautious about using an online only service for something as important as a Will. For more information and to get a Will created by an expert legal professional get in touch with Calthrops Solicitors today.