Juliet Brook, ‘Why video witnessing of wills could sound the death-knell for formalities as an end in themselves’

“Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, few practitioners or academics saw the formalities for witnessing a will in England or Wales (set out in the Wills Act 1837 s 9) as being unduly arduous. They require attention to detail, to ensure that the testator signs or acknowledges his/her signature in the presence of two or more witnesses, each of whom must then sign or acknowledge their signature in the presence of the testator. However, the more anachronistic problems that had been caused by the original wording of s 9 were removed in 1983, with the revised s 9 enabling all parties to acknowledge previously-made signatures. The resultant relatively simple requirement, that at least three people should be ‘together simultaneously’, seemed a proportionate and easily achievable mechanism to facilitate will-making whilst also preventing fraud …”

€ (Westlaw)

Juliet Brook, ‘Why video witnessing of wills could sound the death-knell for formalities as an end in themselves’ [2021] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer (3) 252-262.

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