Principal Andrew Aitken has been featured in an article published by The Australian: 'Coronavirus: ‘will rush’ a testament to our estate of mind'.
The article details the sharp rise in demand for wills among Australian adults, which has been spurred by the COVID-19 virus.
Andrew provided comments on the challenges for signing and witnessing legal documents such as wills and enduring powers of attorney at a time of federal and state mandated self-isolation requirements. There are complications within the will that could arise because of this: "while the requirements for signing a will varied from state to state, in general it needed to be signed in the presence of two witnesses who were not beneficiaries to the will.
One option was for the signing to occur outdoors in the witnesses’ presence, he said, while observing social-distancing rules. However, if a person was self-isolating or in lockdown, this could be a problem.
If it became impossible to comply, he said it was better to create an informal will setting out your wishes than to have no will at all."
With the now more stringent gathering requirements limited to two unrelated persons since the article it has become even more problematic.
Please find the full article on The Australian's website here (paywall).