Coronavirus restrictions and wills


24 March 2020

The restrictions imposed in response to the spread of the coronavirus have had and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to have a significant impact on how we deal with taking instructions for wills and with executing wills. 

We would like to reassure our clients, existing and new, that we are definitely still able to take instructions for wills and to prepare wills, so, please do get in touch with us, if you would like advice on your will.

Clearly, face to face meetings will not be feasible for the time being but we have many other effective means of communication at our disposal - video-conferencing, telephone calls, emails and letters – so, in most circumstances, there should be no bar to taking instructions and dealing effectively with preparing wills on the basis of those instructions.

Dealing with the execution of wills may be a more difficult issue, particularly following the introduction of the ‘lockdown’ measures yesterday evening. The Law Society and other professional bodies are in discussions with the government about how to deal with this issue and we are keeping fully up to date on all developments so that we can provide the appropriate advice to clients. While the ‘lockdown’ measures remain in place, people may not be in a situation where they can readily call on two independent witnesses, which is the requirement for the execution of a will, but it should be possible to put in place suitable arrangements for the execution of wills and we will provide detailed advice to our clients on this aspect, with reference to the clients’ specific circumstances and the applicable rules, at the relevant point in time.

We strongly recommend that you do not allow the current difficulties with executing wills to delay or prevent you starting the process of drawing up your will: if the current, stringent ‘lockdown’ measures are not relaxed in the medium term future, provisions will have to be put in place to facilitate the execution of wills and we will be able to provide up to date advice on this issue (and many others). Please contact us by telephone or email, contact details are listed below, if you would like advice on the preparation of a will. 

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at March 2020.