Law Allowing Video-Witnessed Wills Extended to 2024


Vulnerable people across England and Wales will continue to be able to have their wills witnessed via video-link up until 2024, under legislation extending temporary pandemic measures.

The change was announced yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, who stated “this is a common-sense measure that will give vulnerable people peace of mind that their wills are recognised if they are forced to have them witnessed via video due to isolation.”

The extension will last until 31 January 2024 and has been welcomed by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for giving vulnerable people, in particular those who are forced to isolate either with COVID or from another vulnerability, peace of mind that their wills will be legally-recognised.

However, concerns remain of increased risk of undue influence and fraud during remote processes and difficulties assessing client’s capacity to make decisions when conducted remotely.

To protect the vulnerable against these risks, two witnesses are still required and virtual witnessing is only recognised if the quality of the sound and video is sufficient to see and hear what is happening.

The MOJ also maintains that the use of video technology should remain a last resort and people must continue to arrange physical witnessing of wills where it is safe to do so.

Representatives of the legal profession, including STEP and the Law Society, agree that video technology should remain a last resort for those required to isolate.

The Law Society continues to take the view that the most effective reform of the law on wills would be to give judges powers to recognise the deceased’s intentions even where their will may not have been witnessed, in line with the Wills Act.

The extension comes as the Law Commission is formally considering potential reforms to the law around wills, including whether to make these changes permanent. The Commission is due to publish its findings on how to improve will making in England and Wales in a forthcoming report.


Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

lawble newsletter sign up

Subscribe to our newsletter

Filled with practical insights, news and trends, you can stay informed and be inspired to take your business forward with energy and confidence.