Will Signing During Isolation

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At Farnworth Rose, we take a look at the options available for Will signing whilst in isolation as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 states that no will is valid unless:

  • It is in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction.
  • It appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will.
  • The signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the time.

The above poses some difficulties during self-isolation however, the testator can direct a third party to sign on their behalf using this process involving three people plus the testator.

  1. The first person is in eyesight of the testator (through a window) who verbally directs that person to sign the will in their own name.
  2. The two witnesses need to be in eyesight of this happening (2 meters apart from each other).
  3. The two witnesses then sign using their own pen, wearing disposable gloves.

Amanda Coates, Head of Private Client at Farnworth Rose comments:

“We are continuing to see a large number of enquiries regarding Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, but also concern over how these can be signed to ensure they are valid.

“Though these are unusual steps, these are extraordinary times and we will be supporting clients as best we can over the coming weeks.”