Will Preparation during The Lockdown
By Sandra Moores
Private Client Manager
It has been reported during the lockdown that instructions for Wills and Powers of Attorney have increased by 30% due to the pandemic. Certainly here at Chubb Bulleid we have seen a large increase in clients wishing to put their affairs in order and this has presented a few challenges, not least of which is the signing of Wills.
The government has not relaxed the requirements set out in section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 which states that for a Will to be valid it must be signed by the Will maker in the presence of two witnesses who must then sign the Will, as witness, in the presence of each other and the Will maker. For those self-isolating, this has led to some very imaginative ways of signing. For example, witnesses standing outside a window so they can see the Will maker sign and then documents passed outside for witnessing. Indeed, I have witnessed a Will for the first time, on the bonnet of a car whilst the Will maker sat inside the vehicle.
Clearly the making of Wills needs to continue and in fact solicitors dealing with the execution of Wills are regarded as key workers by the government. Whilst we at Chubb Bulleid are limiting face to face meetings with clients, much can be done by telephone and e-mail, so whilst it may not be “business as usual” we are still able to assist clients in the preparation and execution of Wills during these unusual times.