Public Trust welcomes new legislation changes allowing remote signing and witnessing of wills during COVID-19

Media Release
21 April, 2020

Public Trust welcomes the temporary changes announced by the Government which mean Kiwis can now have their wills, oaths, affirmations and declarations signed and administered remotely.

Public Trust Chief Executive Glenys Talivai says the changes are a much-anticipated and significant step forward in the journey to make these important services more accessible.

“As an essential-service organisation, we are thrilled that this major hurdle has been removed and our customers can now complete the crucial step of getting their wills signed from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

The changes also follow the launch of Public Trust’s new online service which lets Kiwis create a will and EPA from home – and which is part of the organisation’s ongoing work around accessibility.

“At a time when so many things are outside our control or have been put on hold, creating a will is one thing people can do right now to feel a little more in control,” says Talivai.

“We’re really proud to now offer an affordable service that helps people tackle this task quickly and easily from home – and we’re thrilled that the Government’s legislation changes now make our service even more seamless.”

Currently, only 48% of adult New Zealanders have a will in place, leaving significant room for potential financial and emotional stress amongst families. As a Crown Entity, Public Trust's aspiration is to significantly increased the number of Kiwis with a will, in order to protect more Kiwi families from such strife.

Talivai hopes that with barriers such as time, place and affordability now removed, this gap can be closed.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been noticing more enquires from people either checking up on existing wills and EPAs or enquiring about creating a will – so we know there is a growing appetite for Kiwis wanting to get their estates in order.”

Contact: Alisha Fox, Communications Consultant

Phone: 020 4192 0581

Email: [email protected]