All practitioners in England and Wales are aware of the strict requirements for a will to be validly executed in accordance with section 9 of the arguably archaic Wills Act 1837. However, in light of the current pandemic there are calls for these provisions to be reviewed and updated.
The Government is due to consider reforms to the law on wills, but for the time being, nothing has changed.
Therefore, for a will to be valid:
1. It must be in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction;
2. It must appear that the testator intended his signature to give effect to the will;
3. The signature must be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time, and each witness must either; a) attest and sign the will; or b) acknowledge his signature in the presence of the testator.
In time, there are likely to be an increased number of challenges to wills made during the pandemic, hence the importance of ensuring valid execution.
Calls For Changes To Wills Amid Pandemic. It is no surprise that the pandemic has brought to the attention of many that they need to make provisions should the worst happen. Firms have seen increases in the demand for will writing services but this has brought problems so that they may be compliant with section 9 of the Wills Act 1837.