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Virtual Witnessing of a Will

Date:9 DEC 2020

Private Client solicitors have widely reported a significant increase in Will-making enquiries during the Covid-19 pandemic. However lockdown measures presented a number of challenges particularly with regard to the valid execution of Wills.

For a Will or Codicil to be valid the signing formalities must be carefully adhered to as set out in Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 which states:

  1. The Will must be in writing and signed by the person making the Will (known as the ‘testator’) or by some other person in his presence and by his direction.
  2. The testator intended by his signature to give effect to the Will.
  3. The signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the time (underline added for emphasis)
  4. Each witness either:
    1. attests and signs the Will; or
    2. acknowledges his signature in the presence of the testator (but not necessarily in the presence of any other witnesses)

Accordingly in order for a Will to be validly executed the testator’s signature must be made or acknowledged in front of at least two witnesses who must be...

Read the full article here.