We all know there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment. If you’re considering making a Will, you need the very best advice you can get. Burnetts are here to ease your worries. Let’s take, for example, the case of clients who are either self-isolating or practicing extreme social distancing.
In normal circumstances, a Will would be executed in the presence of two independent witnesses, present at the same time – you would normally all be in the same room.
What do you do if you don’t want to invite your witnesses into your home because you are self-isolating? Well, we should firstly exclude the options of putting off signing or asking someone who lives with you to sign. Both are less than sensible for a variety of reasons.
There are then two options available to you:
1. Witnessing through a window
So, you’re going to need to find two independent witnesses – both over the age of 18. As long as both of your witnesses can watch you sign your Will, there is no reason for them to be in the actual room with you.
You would need to arrange for:
- your witnesses to be positioned on the other side of the window where they are clearly able to see you sign;
- for you to sign your Will;
- for you to pass your Will to your witnesses (or perhaps push it in reverse-way out of the letterbox- ensuring they don’t touch the Will where you have); and
- for your witnesses to both sign, print their name, address and occupation as the witnesses.
2. Appoint another person to sign at your direction
It is also possible for you to direct someone to sign your Will on your behalf. Burnetts have always found this a useful solution to signing a Will where a client is physically incapable of holding a pen.
You will need three independent people to help - two witnesses and one person to sign on your behalf. We would need to amend your Will so that it is clear that it is being signed “at your direction”. Again, this could be done through a window if required.
To do this:
- you would need to ask your signing volunteer to sign your Will;
- the volunteer will need to sign your Will for you (signing their own signature) in the presence of both witnesses; and
- the witnesses to then both sign, print their name, address and occupation.
Do not let self-isolation stop you from making your Will. The team at Burnetts are always here to help. If you have any questions at all about making, signing or updating your Will – call us 01228 552222. For some, making your Will at this time could be a real worry, but we aim to remove this stress altogether.