As with The Law Society, we urgently call for legislation surrounding the witnessing of Wills to change so they don’t have to be signed or witnessed in person. Demand for Wills is surging locally, but the Government must change rules to allow for electronic signatures or the lawyers to sign on a persons behalf and witnessing via video conferencing.
In recent weeks, Parker Bullen has seen a 50% increase in demand for Wills with many people asking us to draw up their Wills urgently. We are already using video conferencing that enables several parties to participate at the same time. This technology ensures that people, especially the vulnerable, do not need to leave their homes. However, this is being undermined by the fact that a Will needs to be signed and witnessed by two individuals in person . Obviously this puts people at additional risk, so we call on the government to allow documents to be signed electronically in person or by the solicitor and be witnessed via video conferencing. Many of those for whom coronavirus presents the greatest health risks are looking for peace of mind, and knowing that they have a Will in place that reflects their wishes is a key part of that.