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14 May 2020

 

The firm, which has seen a 38 per cent increase in Wills inquiries this year compared to last year, said the emergency regulations introduced this week would ensure Victorians could make valid Wills while still maintaining social distancing rules.

“The rigour around the signing of Wills reflects the importance of a Will, but we welcome the Victorian Government’s introduction of some short-term solutions during the health crisis,” said Andrew Simpson, head of the firm’s Wills and Estates practice.

Queensland and New South Wales have already introduced virtual witnessing for Wills.

In Australia, a valid Will must be signed by the Will maker in the presence of two witnesses, but social distancing restrictions have made it more difficult for people to get a Will properly witnessed.

Mr Simpson said in addition to the new video conferencing options, witnesses for Will makers in Victoria could also include:

  • Two colleagues, if you are still attending a workplace outside your home
  • Two people you encounter as part of an allowable activity, such as attending a medical appointment
  • Two adults in your home as part of a permitted family and friends visit of up to five people
  • Two people as part of a permitted outdoor gathering of 10 people
  • Two adults in your household, such as housemates and family members

Mr Simpson said a properly witnessed and valid Will would avoid the cost and uncertainty of someone trying to prove an invalid Will after your death.

“But always use common sense, and make sure you’re not putting yourself or others at risk of breaking the law or spreading disease.”

 

Media inquiries: 

Chee Chee Leung at Maurice Blackburn, 0412 560 584 or cleung@mauriceblackburn.com.au

 

Practice Areas:
Wills and Estates

 

Maurice Blackburn media team

Our media team advises and supports Maurice Blackburn lawyers and clients during all forms of media engagement, including video and television appearances, radio, online and print media.

Please direct media inquiries to media@mauriceblackburn.com.au, or contact team members directly via the phone numbers below.

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Jade Knight

National Manager, Public Affairs, Media and communications

  • Brisbane, QLD
  • (07) 3016 0396
    0417 969 438
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Michael Cooney

General Manager Public Affairs

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 9605 2700
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Chee Chee Leung

Media Manager, Media and communications

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 9045 6941
    0412 560 584
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Paddy Murphy

Media Manager, Media and communications

  • Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 8102 2003
    0490 297 391

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