Witnessing your Will during the Coronavirus outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak restrictions of social distancing pose the question: How close should my witnesses be when I sign my Will?
As close as possible.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak Parliament is considering emergency legislation to overcome the strict requirement for two independent witnesses when making a Will. Until then, our clients are asking us how close their witnesses need to be when they sign their new Will.
This will be a matter of degree and circumstance.
Being in the same living room is clearly sufficient.
Being either end of a hospital ward and out of physical sight will be insufficient.
But aligning yourselves into sight of each other through a broken fence panel in the back garden may well be sufficient.
There is no precise answer to this, so what we need is to get as close to perfection as possible, and to repeat your Will signing if a better signing opportunity arises.
Nick Palmer is a solicitor in the private client team at Barker Gotelee, solicitors in Ipswich.