Can I draw up a new Will during the COVID-19 lockdown?

Rebecca Parr

It is not surprising that given news of the COVID-19 coronavirus that continues to dominate the media and the recent restrictions on non-essential travel imposed by the UK Government, that people have the time to sit down and consider their wishes for the future.

In order for your Will to be legally valid there are certain conditions that need to be met:

  • The Will needs to be in writing;
  • The Will needs to be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses; and
  • The witneeses must also sign the Will in your presence.

Usually, we are able to act as your witnesses for the proposes of signing your Wills, although for the safety of our clients and staff, our offices are currently closed and this is not possible.

This does not mean however that you cannot draw up a new Will to ensure your wishes take effect, in the event of your death.

Even though our offices are closed, we are still open for business, with all of our staff working effectively from home. Samuels Solicitors LLP are therefore continuing to take instructions from clients on the telephone and provide Wills for execution.

Whilst the government's social distancing must be followed, you may be able to maintain a safe distance from others in order to ensure you meet the requirements to execute a legally valid Will. For example, you could ask a neighbour to witness your signature to your Will through a kitchen window or from the safety of their own garden.

Please note that when executing your Will, both you and your witnesses must be able to see each other sign the document. We will send you a guidance sheet on how to execute your Will when we provide you with an approved bound copy for signature.

As always, when doing so please consider the vulnerability of the individuals involved.

If you want to draw up a new Will, or if you are concerned that your Will might be out of date, contact us today to find out how we can help.