The Covid-19 outbreak has rendered the normal legal procedures
in will-making practice extremely difficult.
One issue for those having contracted the virus, without a will
in place is how to ensure that their property goes to those
whom they wish without it risking going into an English intestacy
were they to die of the virus.
In England, wills normally have to be witnessed within the
sight of the testator, which can be incredibly difficult in case of
isolation or when the testator is in intensive care.
A purely English handwritten will is only acceptable when it is
witnessed correctly and is more likely than not not to be correctly
However there is an exception for those domiciled or habitually
resident in a State outside England and Wales or who have a foreign
nationality of such a State, if that State recognises wills written
out, signed and dated by band. These are called olographe or
Holographic wills. For example,; France and Germany both recognise
e olographe wills.
Most civl law countries accept these handwritten wills, with
which an English soplicitir may not be familiar
So individuals falling ill in England with such a connection to
say for example Jersey, Guernsey, France or Germany can write out
their wills by hand sign them and date them in the knowledge that
such a will will be validly executed in England.
How so? S.1 of the Wills Act 1963 reads as
s. 1 General rule as to formal validity.
A will shall be treated as properly executed if its execution
conformed to the internal law in force in the territory where it
was executed, or in the territory where, at the time of its
execution or of the testator's death, he was domiciled or had his
habitual residence, or in a state of which, at either of those
times, he was a national.
Peter Harris, a Barrister who is licensed for probate work can
take someone wishing to do so through this process by Facetime,
Skype, Join Us or other means of communication.
If you wish to do so please contact him on +441534625879, or on
his iPhone +447797831749. alternatively on