COVID-19 Update: Tozers is providing our usual client services while maintaining the safety of our clients and colleagues. Full update here

Complete the form below to ask us a question or make an enquiry. We’ll get back to you via phone or email as soon as possible.

Insights

Remote Witnessing of Wills to come into retrospective effect

Posted on 15th September 2020 in Probate & Wills

Posted by

Sasha Brennan

Solicitor
Remote Witnessing of Wills to come into retrospective effect

On 7th September 2020 legislation was laid before Parliament to bring into force changes to the age-old Wills Act 1837(‘the Act’) to enable Wills to be witnessed virtually by video conference.

The temporary changes to section 9 of the Act will come into force on 28th September 2020 and will apply retrospectively for Wills signed from 31st January 2020, which was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the UK.  The changes will come to an end on 31st January 2022. 

Under current rules Wills must be witnessed by two independent adult witnesses whilst in the presence of the person making the Will.  The change in the law removes the requirement for physical presence of the witnesses and replaces this with the option to have Wills witnessed over a  video call.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) previously set out guidance on how to ensure that the Wills are signed correctly under the new rules. It is important that this guidance is followed to ensure the correct terminology is used in the signature clause to the Wills and that they are signed and witnessed correctly.   In spite of the changes the overriding advice given by the MOJ is that where Wills can be witnessed in the ‘conventional way’, Wills Act amended to allow witnesses virtually, in the physical presence of witnesses, then this should be followed. 

If you need help or advice about your current Will or would like to discuss putting a Will in place, please visit our specialist Wills hub page or contact a member of the team.

Contact the team

Company & Industry

Related Insights

Insights

The Inheritance Act and Adult Children

Posted on 23rd February 2021 in Dispute Resolution

Following our recent insight on the Inheritance Act and Minor Children, this insight moves onto another category of claimant under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“Inheritance Act”) - adult children.

Posted by

Martin Laver

Partner and Solicitor
Insights

Rise in post-pandemic probate claims

Posted on 19th February 2021 in Probate & Wills

A recent article has reported that there has been a marked rise in claims being brought against estates. These claims are mainly being made under the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 whereby claimants argue that they have not received reasonable financial provision from an estate. 

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive