The Government announced that Wills witnessed via videolink will be considered valid, as a response to difficulties faced by testators and their witnesses during the global pandemic.

What will now be permitted?

The proposed changes to the Wills Act 1837 will allow a testator to sign their Will while their witnesses watch via videolink, such as over Zoom or Skype. However, this process should only be used as a last resort. The Government recommends following the usual process of in-person witnessing if possible.

When and where does this come into effect?

The legislative changes will be laid before Parliament in September, will remain in place until January 2022, and will have retrospective effect from 31 January 2020. This change only applies to England and Wales; Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own testamentary legislation.

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