Yes They Will!

In what has been called the biggest shake-up to Wills in 183 years, The Ministry of Justice has stated that Wills and Codicils which have been witnessed via video conferencing platforms (such as Zoom and Skype) WILL be deemed legal. The statutory instrument enacting this change is due to be enacted in September but the new law will be backdated to 31st January 2020.

The law is then expected to cover a 2 year period (until 31st January 2022), however, the government can decide to lengthen or reduce this period as circumstances demand.

In order to be considered legally valid the Will must still be signed by the person making the Will and that signature witnessed by two witnesses (at the same time) who should not be beneficiaries of the Will or married to beneficiaries of the Will. ‘Wet’ signatures will still be required as electronic signatures will still not be acceptable and witnessing a pre-recorded Will signing will also not be allowed.

Remote witnessing is not without risk and has been referred to as a ‘last resort.’ It is important that if your Will is to be or has been remotely witnessed, you seek legal advice to ensure that your Will has been correctly executed.

Bartons can offer help and advice about creating or amending your Will. Our team of experts would be happy to hear from you.

About the Author

Claire Thompson is a full member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Claire specialises in all aspects of private client law including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection matters, Estate Planning and Estate Administration.

Claire can be contacted on 01548 854927 or