For the time being our clients are asking their neighbours to witness their wills through the window and letter box, given that you use hand sanitisers and where possible gloves.
AJK are continuing to provide robust wills for both couples and individuals but have had to make changes as to how the wills are witnessed. We agree with the Prime Minister and welcome a lockdown to hopefully be free of this virus sooner rather than later.
Electronic signatures with or without a video call is not currently accepted as a deed, meaning that this would invalidate your will. Although other documents and contracts can be signed this way, the Law Commission looked at this in their consultation in 2017 and confirmed that, as the law currently stands, witnesses must be physically present. The consultation also recommended that, until technological safeguards are in place, legislation should be introduced to make it clear that electronic signatures DO NOT satisfy the current signature requirement for wills.
An Industry Working Group will consider the question of videoing of electronic signatures as is also applicable in other fields of law, any reform must ensure that there are no adverse impacts, particularly on vulnerable people.
The AJK team have measures in place to assist the most vulnerable in signing their wills, please contact us on 01909 281277 should you require help.
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