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Remote Witnessing for Wills in England and Wales

The UK Government has announced that, in view of the pandemic, it plans to change the existing law to allow wills to be witnessed virtually in England and Wales. The proposed changes will be backdated to 31 January 2020 and will remain in place as long as necessary (initially until January 2022).

The new laws, to be enacted in September, aim to reassure the public that wills witnessed via video link are legally recognized. The new law will amend the Wills Act 1837 to stipulate that where wills must be signed in the ‘presence’ of at least two witnesses, their presence can be either physical or virtual.

Wills still need to be signed by two witnesses who are not its beneficiaries and electronic signatures will not be permitted.

The guidelines for virtual wills can be consulted here

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