Wills that have been witnessed by video-link are to be legalised following huge changes in probate legislation that are soon to be introduced by the government. Under the current rules which date back to 1837, a Will is only valid if it is witnessed by 2 independent witnesses who must both be physically present when the Will is signed. The new rules will allow those witnesses to be present remotely, via video-link.
The new rules are to be backdated to 31st January 2020, so that any Wills that have been witnessed via video-link during the coronavirus lockdown will potentially be considered valid.
The rules will only apply to Wills signed prior to the 31st January 2022, unless the government decides to make the changes permanent.
The government has advised anyone who may be considering the option of having their Will witnessed via video-link that they should obtain advice from a Solicitor first. For those who may have already signed their Will with witnesses appearing via video-link, it would also be a good idea to obtain legal advice as to the validity of the Will and to ensure all requirements set out by the government have been met.
If you have any questions about Wills witnessed by video-link, or about Wills in general, then Southerns would be happy to assist you. You can contact the Private Client team on 01282 422711, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org