Q&As

Are there any discussions or consultations around suspending the formal requirements for a valid Will (in particular, the requirement to have two witnesses) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 19/03/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are there any discussions or consultations around suspending the formal requirements for a valid Will (in particular, the requirement to have two witnesses) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 (WA 1837) provides that a Will is not valid unless it is in writing, signed by the testator or by some other person in their presence and by their direction, and the signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time and each witness either attests and signs the Will or acknowledges his signature in the presence of the testator.

Although the Law Commission on Electronic Execution of Documents (Law Com No 386) covers electronic signatures in respect of documents, Wills are specifically excluded from the scope of that paper, as the Law Commission is undertaking a specific consultation: Making a

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