Title Research’s latest blog post provides insight into some of the reasons why some legal practitioners believe the temporary amendment to the Wills Act 1837 could increase the number of contested Wills.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, once the country was quickly locked down and individuals were advised to shield, self-isolate or social distance from others, a significant problem was created for any procedures that required an in-person element, such as preparing a Will. The Wills Act 1837 traditionally required two witnesses to be physically present when someone was creating a Will in order to witness their signature. This was no longer as simple as it as has always been.
Last month, as a response to the challenges faced during the pandemic, the Ministry of Justice temporarily amended the law in England and Wales to allow for Wills to be witnessed virtually, using video technology, if required.
But what about the risks involved that could make it easier for the Will to be contested and potentially deemed invalid? Risks such as unstable video connections, fraudulent interception during the transportation of the Will to witnesses and the increased possibility of undue influence are just some of the concerns that have been raised to date. Their blog discusses this in further detail.