Witnessing wills in Covid lockdown

A will is not valid unless it is witnessed correctly. That could be challenging with the current Government restrictions on movement.

But the Government also recognises it is essential for people to have a will to avoid the problems of intestacy (see the Government guidance on making a will on the Gov.uk website).

While it is preferable that you sign your will in the presence of two witnesses, it is possible for you to sign your will on your own and then acknowledge to two witnesses that it is your signature. We suggest you use that process to minimise contact.

Try and find two witnesses who are already living together, close by. That way, when they witness your will they are not increasing the risk of passing infection between each other and they are not travelling to get to you, nor you to them. If you cannot, then each witness should sign the will in sight of each other and you, but take it in turns to do so, from 2m distance.

Having your will witnessed safely

So, here are our Top 10 tips:

  1. Contact your witnesses and agree a time and place where they can view your will.

  2. Ask them to each have their own pen ready

  3. Wash your hands, sign your will and put it in the agreed place shortly before the agreed time - a doorstep, a garden wall, an outdoor table etc.

  4. Make sure your witnesses can see and hear you, from at least 2m distance

  5. Confirm to them that the signature they see is your signature

  6. Ask them to sign the will and add their details in the signature boxes

  7. Thank them!

  8. Collect your will, keeping 2m apart

  9. Store your will safely (and let friends and family know where it is)

  10. Wash your hands again

You can read our guidance on signing at Signing your will

You can read our guidance for your witnesses at What to do after signing your will

You can read our guidance on storing your will at Who can witness a will?