Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Wills
Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Wills

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Wills
  • Will execution
  • What formal requirements for a valid Will may cause particular difficulty during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are there any alternatives?
  • 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?
  • Will drafting
  • I am inundated with clients who want new Wills due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, but have no childcare. Could I be a key worker?

This Practice Note considers the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Wills and provides answers or guidance on some of the main issues arising for practitioners. The latest guidance and updates are contained in this Practice Note.

The areas and Q&As covered in this Practice Note are:

  1. Will execution

    1. What formal requirements for a valid Will may cause particular difficulty during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are there any alternatives?

    2. 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?

      This includes information about the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 which ensures that Wills witnessed virtually using video technology will be considered valid.

  2. Will drafting

    1. I am inundated with clients who want new Wills due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, but have no childcare. Could I be a key worker?

For guidance on other matters affecting Private Client practitioners as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), see the Coronavirus (COVID-19) subtopic.

Will execution

What formal requirements for a valid Will may cause particular difficulty during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are there any alternatives?

The formal requirements for signing a Will are found in WA 1837, s 9. The Will must:

  1. be in writing

  2. be signed by the testator or by some other person in their presence and

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