Execution of Will – whilst COVID-19 isolation

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.

We are open and as business as usual helping people who has legal needs.

Call 1800 GETHELP or email to us info@phoenix-law.com.au

Due to the current situation related to the COVID-19 our office has instigated several policies:-

  • 1. Until further notice we will not be taking appointments in person.
  • 2. Staff will be working both in our office and remotely from home. Due to this we cannot guarantee that Staff will be available should you call the office without first confirming availability by email .We ask that, unless there is an emergency or time sensitive matter associated with your file, all communication is by email .This will ensure prompt attention to your matter.
  • 3.Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19, we are currently experiencing altered work patterns and additional workload pressures in a bid to ensure continuity of operations. This may result in a delayed response to your email and your patience is appreciated.

We understand these measures may cause inconvenience, however we are taking these measures to ensure that not only our staff, but also our clients are best protected and any risk minimised. Thank you for your assistance and understanding.