No will shall be valid unless--
(a) it is in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction; and
(b) it appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will; and
(c) the signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time; and
(d) each witness either--
(i) attests and signs the will; or
(ii) acknowledges his signature, in the presence of the testator (but not necessarily in the presence of any other witness),
Despite the virus pandemic, in England and Wales, the above rules still need to be followed which means to sign a Will, you still need two people to act as witnesses, who need to see you sign, and you need to see them sign. It is not possible at this point to sign over video for example, and for the witness to sign at a later time.
There is however a strong presumption that if a Will that LOOKS like it has been properly attested, it is usually accepted as being properly attested (i.e. signed and witnessed properly). If a Will was signed during the Covid-19 issues however, these Wills may be looked at in more detail, so it is vital that signing procedures are carried out correctly. It might be a good idea to video the signing, especially if an elderly person is signing, and especially if the Will might be deemed to be contentious - for example if the distribution of the Will is not equal between children, or anyone who might expect to receive an inheritance does not. Signing can be at a distance, so social distancing rules need to be followed.
Oliver's Wills will provide clear instructions on how to sign during this time, and we can also be present by video, so you are sure that this stage is completed properly. I have already heard that some firms may try to state that they are not responsible for the signing stage and therefore have no liability if something is challenged. This is perhaps tempting to do that, but it is far better to see everything through until completion, as we will with you. if you have any questions about the signing process, please leave a comment or get in touch directly.