I made a new will and need to execute it. However, I cannot meet with my solicitor in person, nor organise two independent witnesses because of self isolation and social distancing. What should I do?
On 22 April, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland issued Practice Direction No.10 of 2020 (Practice Direction) and has given some practical solutions while we are in self isolation due to COVID-19 outbreak. However, it only applies to wills that are executed between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. (It is not yet known that if this time period could extend depending on the COVID-19 spread.)
In summary, the above Practice Direction is now allowing the executor of Will to execute a testamentary document so long as it is witnessed by a solicitor using audio-visual technology provided that there is clear evidence showing that the testator intended the document to take immediate effect as their will.
However, the Practice Direction contains this condition:
That the reason why the testator was unable to execute the will in the physical presence of two witnesses was because of either government enforced or recommended, or self imposed, isolation or quarantine arising from the COVID 19 pandemic.
So you still must demonstrate that the reason you could not execute your will in the prescribed manner was due to COVID-19 pandemic and if the execution of an informal will is witnessed by a practitioner using audio-visual technology, it will be important to ensure that evidence is recorded and securely retained to prove satisfaction of about the various elements of the Practice Direction at the time a practitioner is involved.
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