COVID-19 - Updating Your Will In A Global Pandemic
COVID-19 - Updating your Will in a global pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to the world. Whilst we are all social distancing and staying at home, it is also an important time to consider whether your Will adequately reflects your wishes.
The restrictions on leaving your home may make it more difficult to to complete your WIll, however it is important to ensure that your Will is valid.
For your Will to be valid, it is important that you know the formal requirements in your State. Regardless of where you live, the requirements for making a valid Will have not changed.
The formal requirements for making your Will are:
- You are over 18 years of age
- You are of 'sound mind'
- The Will must be in writing
- The Will must be signed by you
- Your signature must be witnessed by two independent witnesses
- Your beneficiaries or spouse cannot be a witness to the Will.
Wherever possible, we recommend that you observe the formal requirements to ensure that your Will is valid. If your Will is not considered to be valid by a Court, it will have no legal effect and your estate will not be distributed in accordance with your wishes.
Currently, New South Wales and Queensland have introduced legislation and directions (respectively) that provide alternative arrangements for the signing and witnessing of documents by videoconferencing applications (e.g. Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime etc.)
Read more about the alternative arrangements for New South Wales here and Queensland here.
It is important that anyone wanting to make new Will during this period remains up to date with the relevant information. If you do make a new Will during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure you let your loved ones know.
Stay safe and well,
The Online Will Kit Team