The Law Society surveyed over 720 will practitioners to better understand the use of video witnessing wills during lockdown and whether this should be extended.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will soon need to consider whether to extend the statutory instrument that currently allows video witnessing until January 2022.
To inform our conversations with the MoJ, we surveyed wills practitioners, asking for:
- views on the use of video witnessing for wills
- any experiences of video witnessing during the lockdowns
The majority (95%) of wills practitioners had drafted wills throughout the lockdowns, but only a small proportion used video witnessing (14%).
Of those using video witnessing through the pandemic:
- 59% reported positive experiences of video witnessing
- 21% had negative experiences
- over two-fifths of respondents reported an increase in the overall time taken (44%)
- 39% of practitioners indicated that transparency/certainty around the process had decreased as a result of video witnessing