Following World Braille Day on 4 January 2020, we consider what you can do if you are unable to see or write in order to ensure you create a legally valid document.
For a Will to be regarded as valid in Scotland, there are three essential requirements:-
- Testamentary intention;
- The individual’s capacity; and
- Formalities of signing.
Being blind or visually impaired alone should not restrict you from setting out your wishes in a Will. At BTO, we would be delighted to assist you through the process and remove any perceived barriers to allow you to put your affairs in order.
When drawing up a Will, the testator must be clear on their intentions and understand the implications of their actions. At BTO, we provide an initial meeting to discuss your affairs and ensure that all relevant aspects have been considered. For those who are blind or visually impaired, we can offer virtual meetings via Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams for comfort and convenience. Alternatively, we are happy to attend your home if this is more suitable (Government restrictions allowing).
In drawing up a Will, the testator should know exactly what has been written, and understand and consent to what has been drafted. At BTO, our priority is to ensure that you are satisfied with the terms of your Will. Therefore, we are always on hand by phone, email or video meeting to discuss any complex elements and assist you throughout the process.
Formalities of Signing
Ordinarily, a testator must sign their Will at the foot of every page. However, if an individual is blind, it is possible to execute a signing on their behalf by a notary public through a process known as a notarial execution.
During a notarial execution, the Will is read out to the individual by the notary, unless they declare that they do not wish for it to be read. The individual will then authorise the notary to sign on their behalf, with the signing being witnessed by an independent third party. Due to the current lockdown measures in place, government legislation now allows for notarial execution to be performed by video link in a three-way virtual meeting.
Since all of our solicitors are notaries public, we are able to assist with every step of the process.
If you have any questions on whether your Will is valid, or if you think you may need assistance with a notarial execution, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the BTO Personal team.