Why you must be careful when writing 2020 on legal documents

Scammers could take advantage of 2020 dates if written incorrectly

With every new year comes new opportunities, but also new challenges.

One of these problems has already been highlighted.

We all have to sign documents regularly for various purposes, but people are now being urged to think carefully about the way they do so to make sure they don't get caught out.

People are being warned not to abbreviate the year 2020 when writing the date on any legal or important document this year, because it could too easily be modified by someone.

The common practice when dating papers is to simply use the last two numbers of the year - last year, an example date would have been 31/7/19, meaning July 31, 2019.

However, in 2020, this abbreviation could mean that dates could easily be doctored, with '20' able to be changed easily into a previous year, such as 2019 or 2018 or even changed to a future date, such as could be done by altering a document to indicate it was signed in 2021 and not 2020 for example.

There are also a lot of scammers waiting for an opportunity like this.

A Will for example could be re-dated with 2030 – 10 years after you actually signed it, and at a time after you had developed dementia, meaning the fraudster could declare your Will null and void on the grounds you did not have mental capacity, meaning you would die intestate, which, if you had excluded a child for example, would mean they would then receive a share of your estate when you had not intended them to receive anything, or a special legacy would not happen.

Thy Will Be Done are insisting that all our legal documents are correctly dated when our clients opt to use our witnessing service – a small price to pay to ensure that you are fully protected going forwards.