Making a Will during the Covid-19 pandemic

couple waiting to socially distanced sign will witnessed through window

Want to make a will during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Births, marriages, divorce and death. These are the usual reasons people start contacting us for our registered charity number, so they can include the RHN in their newly made or updated will. Now we can officially add pandemics to the list.  There is great anxiety and confusion around the physical restrictions in place, safety and the legalities of making a will right now, especially when we are in lockdown.

A guide to making or updating a will during the coronavirus outbreak

There are several online and over the phone solicitor and professional will writing services that can help you make or update a valid will from the comfort of your own home, all without the need to come out of isolation. It’s worth ringing your solicitor to ask. Some are also able to arrange safe, socially distanced meetings and some are offering the service for free or at a discounted rate.

Getting your will witnessed

You might be wondering how your will can be witnessed whilst isolating. Well law in England and Wales states that a will must be signed with wet ink and witnessed in person. If you are in isolation the current advice is to have your witnesses both watch you sign your will through a closed window, to pass the will through your letterbox and watch them sign their details in the same way. They can then post the will back through your letterbox and it’s all done. Remember, a person witnessing your will cannot be a beneficiary in your will and neither can their spouse.

Charity route will writing

There are a number of organisations out there who have partnered up with charities and with solicitor firms from all over the UK who are looking to do some good for charity. Put simply, the solicitor offers their will writing service for free or at a reduced rate to whoever the charity has referred their way. There is no obligation to leave a gift to charity in your will but people who go down this route usually intend to anyway.

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is currently working in partnership with

  • The National Free Wills Network. Contact Legacy Manager Isabel Barrett on 020 87804557 to request a list of participating solicitors in your local area.

The partnership provides our supporters with a free, solicitor-written will. All partner solicitors are professionals and registered with the Law Society. Once you have the list, simply choose which solicitor you’d like to use and give them a call to start the ball rolling.

Alternatively, the following organisations work in a similar way, though not always free, both offer all the assurances of registered professional solicitors and oodles of advice about how to reduce inheritance tax on your estate by donating to charity.

You are able to contact these directly to register your interest in sorting your will

Please note that there is no obligation to include a gift in your will to any charity when using any of these services, though we would like you to of course.

Professional will writing services – non-solicitor led

Solicitors are not the only people who can write a valid will. You can write your own will too but many people are more comfortable using a professional will writing service.  They are often cheaper than solicitors and some have panels of solicitors to check over more complex wills when they are completed. Whether the service is free, discounted or full price, we only recommend will writing services that are accredited by either

Examples of these are 020 8050 2686 and Co-op Legal Services 0330 0295 123 There are too many will writing services to mention here but these are particularly well-established and recognisable companies.

For more advice about making wills, inheritance tax or about acting as an executor, please feel free to contact Isabel Barrett, Legacy Manager, at any time 020 8780 4557.