According to the law, a Will must be made in the presence of two witnesses to be considered legal; this is to protect people against undue influence or fraud.
New measures have been considered and are to be implemented to give peace of mind to many that their last wishes can still be recorded during this challenging time; while continuing to protect the elderly and vulnerable.
The UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced the implementation of secondary legislation under the Electronic Communications Act 2000 that can be applied retrospectively to the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic on 31 January 2020.
The legislation is anticipated to come into force in September 2020 and will be in force for two years until 31 January 2022.
The new legislation which only applies in England and Wales enables (Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate legal systems around the validity of wills) individuals to video-witness the execution of their Wills if they are unable to observe the normal formalities, and cannot have two independent witnesses physically present.
Therefore, if someone is isolating and there is no feasible way to arrange for witnesses to be there, they can video record themselves executing their own will and it will be legally valid.