Staying COVID-19 Secure and In Control

GILES WILSON IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS and continues to operate in complete compliance with the government’s latest guidance. While our preferred method of conducting appointments is via phone or video call, we are able to make allowances for in-person consultations, in-keeping with social distancing rules. Read more on our dedicated COVID-19 page.

For more information get in touch at or telephone ouroffice on 01702 477106.

We’re proud to continue to serve the community of Leigh-on-Sea as we have done since 1953.

Thank you for your support.

Melinda Giles Online Wills


(this article was originally written in April 2020)

A lot more of us are making wills at the moment – every evening the news shows us the number of deaths from COVID19, and each of us understandably fears for our own lives and those of others.  This has led to a huge rise in the number of people rushing to make wills, and in the current lockdown, many turn to the idea of an online will.

But when is an online will an online will?  The fact is that for a will to be valid it has to be signed by the person making the will, and that signing has to be in the presence of two independent witnesses.* Those two witnesses must both be there with you when you sign with a pen on the paper will, and not watching you over FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, but physically with you.  If they are not, then the will is not valid. 

The problem is that most of us are locked in at home with our families, and they are the people who will benefit from the will.  The witnesses must be over the age of 18, and must not be a beneficiary in the will, or the wife or husband of a beneficiary in a will.  If they are, then they will lose their benefit in the will.  So you need independent witnesses.  

The very best way to make a will that you know will be written in a valid way, and that really does take into account all of your circumstances including advising you on any inheritance tax, is to speak to someone who knows how to draft a will.  A telephone call or a face to face virtual interview – is this making an online will?  Perhaps it is. 

If your will is drafted for you by a solicitor, and then sent to you by email, and any further questions or discussions are on the telephone, over email, shared documents, or virtual meetings, is it online? Perhaps it is.

And finally, if when the will is ready, you are offered an appointment to come into an office that has been set up to meet COVID19 safety standards, and two independent witnesses are provided for you, the problem over witnesses is resolved. Alternatively, if you cannot come to the office, we can come to you if you are local, and we can watch you sign your will through your patio doors, by sitting next to your car window or any other safe distancing that suits you. Or, we can send it to you with clear instructions on how to sign your will with two independent witnesses if you have availability to them 

Finally, if you wish, we can keep your will in our bank vault free of charge, and scan you a copy.  

We are transparent on fees, and we carry out online ID checks to protect against fraud.

So don't be blinded by and "Online will" headline. Call a solicitor on 01702 477106 to find out more or email us on and see our website for costs transparency  

 *The law changed in September 2020 to allow virtual witnessing in certain exceptional circumstances: ask us for more details.

#onlinewills  #makeawill 

Awards & Recognitions

The expertise of our solicitors is regularly recognised by some of the profession’s most distinguished organisations. As well as being a member of a number of Law Society schemes, we have won awards at the Law Society Excellence Awards, the Halsbury Legal Awards and the Modern Law Awards. We have also received recognition in the form of the Lexcel mark of quality, a Legal 500 listing and a place on the shortlist of The Lawyer’s Boutique Firm of the Year.

Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson
Awards and Recognitions of Giles Wilson