During the COVID-19 pandemic, everything seems uncertain and worrying. With the coronavirus around the corner, you might not know when you’re going to be infected, hospitalized, and be unable to do the things you used to do. The worse thing that can also happen is when you suddenly die, leaving your family and loved ones with specific financial issues.

Due to these unfortunate circumstances, drafting a will as part of estate law can be an excellent way to give yourself peace of mind that your express wishes are followed accordingly should you die unexpectedly. However, with social distancing regulations, stay-at-home orders, and other movement restrictions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, making a will can be challenging. But, due to its necessity, many people still opt to draft their wills despite some challenges.

If you’re into will-making during the pandemic, below are the three trends and challenges to consider from the get-go:

Advent Of Online Wills

If you’re looking to create a notarial will, you may have to meet with your lawyer from time to time to discuss the provisions of your will. Unfortunately, doing this amidst the pandemic may be a challenge. To avoid the transmission of COVID-19, you may not be advised to see your lawyer in person. In such a case, preparing a notarial will can be difficult these days.

It is one reason why the advent of online wills has become a popular trend nowadays. Many technology platforms like Willed and other options let you create a customized will using digital forms. All you have to do is fill in the form and download and sign it. There can be nothing to worry about regarding the validity of online wills because these platforms make sure that experts review the document.

With this new trend in will-making, you can stay safe against the threat of coronavirus. You don’t need to meet with a lawyer for the process since you can create a will from the comfort of your home or wherever you may be without any physical contact from others.

Remote Witnessing Of Wills

Generally, a will must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses to attest that it’s your will and the signature. But, due to the threat of the coronavirus, physical witnessing has also become a challenge. The witnesses are discouraged from having physical contact with anyone to prevent the likelihood of COVID-19 infection.

Because of this, remote witnessing of wills has also become a new trend in the will-making process these days. Since meeting with the witnesses can be hazardous during the COVID-19 pandemic, some states allow remote witnesses through video conferencing. But, before you take this option, it’s essential to familiarize the requirements in your state, if there are any.

On the other hand, if video-witnessed wills aren’t allowed in your state, you can look for ways to ensure your witnesses’ presence. For example, you can ask at least two of your neighbors to watch you sign at least six feet away through your house’s window or car. To secure your witness’ signatures, you can wear gloves while passing the document. They should also use their pens during the signing.

Remote Notarization

Aside from the presence of the witnesses, a will should also be notarized to be valid. But, due to the social distancing guidelines and other travel restrictions, in-person notarization has also become a challenge in the will-making process. Because of the fear of transmission, lawyers may be unable to perform their duties as a notary public while in the same room as their clients. Consequently, this situation can delay the completion of the will-making process.

To remedy this problem, the idea of remote notarization has been considered as a trend when creating a will. However, remote notarization regulations vary from one state to another, which is why understanding your state’s requirements regarding it is essential.

For example, if you live in a state where online notarization is allowed, you can participate in a video conference call with the notary public. You need to present a valid government I.D. on the video screen or upload and send the image to the notary. Once done, the notary will check the document and notarize the document using an online notarization service while you’re watching the video. With this notarization trend, you can get your will notarized without violating social distancing rules and getting infected with the virus.

Bottom Line

Essentially, a will spell out your wishes about how your estate will be distributed and who will get what after your death. However, like other legal documents, a will, to be valid, needs to follow certain formalities. Otherwise, the court will render it null and void. But, because of the pandemic and its challenges, things regarding will-making have started to change.

Therefore, if you consider drafting a will during the pandemic, keep the challenges and trends mentioned above in mind. That way, you’ll know what to expect throughout the process. The more you’re familiar with what to do, the better you can navigate the procedure to ensure a more favorable outcome.