A practical guide to making a will under COVID-19

During these difficult times we are still helping clients organise their affairs, advising on and drafting new Wills and Powers of Attorney.

We will arrange for a qualified Solicitor to speak with you by way of a telephone call or video conference to discuss your requirements.

This is the same discussion as we would have if we met in person. We will ask questions about your personal circumstances, family and friends and ascertain what assets comprise your estate. We can discuss Inheritance Tax, care fee funding, the use of trusts and any other matters that you feel are pertinent.

We will then proceed to take your instructions and advise on the optimum way to structure your Will and/or Power of Attorney in order to best meet your personal wishes and circumstances.

Once we have your instructions we will then draft the documents and send these to you with a letter of explanation and arrange a follow-up conversation to ensure that you fully understand the documents and to ensure that they say exactly what you want them to say.

Once you are entirely happy with the Will we will send you the final version for signing and witnessing. We will also enclose a stamped addressed envelope so that the final document can be returned to us.

The signing of the Will is an important process and ordinarily of course we would oversee this. Our guide for signing the Will is as follows:

1. Please check the Will and if you have any queries please let us know at once.

2. If the Will is as you want it you will need to find two witnesses.   The witnesses need to be aged 18 or over and have mental capacity.

Any adult can be a witness and the witnesses can be related to each other. However, a witness should not be someone who benefits under the Will or the husband or wife or civil partner of such a person.

3. The witnesses do not need to know what is in the Will.  Their job is simply to witness your signature.

4. Before signing, please date the Will at the end where indicated.

5. Please sign the Will where indicated in the presence of both witnesses with your normal signature as you would a cheque.

6. The witnesses should sign next.  Each should sign then add his/her FULL name, address and occupation in block capitals.

7. Until all three of you have signed you should all remain together in the same place although practicing social distancing.

8. Please return the Will to us in the stamped addressed envelope provided and we will send you a copy to keep with your papers.

Unless you let us know otherwise, we will keep the original in our safe storage and we do not presently make a charge for this.

9. When sending us the Will, please be sure not to clip or pin anything to it.

With regards to Powers of Attorney we will mark every page that requires a signature. We are advising where possible for clients to ask a neighbour or friend to fulfil the role of certificate provider. This needs to be an adult who has known you for at least two years who is not one of your named attorneys or related to one of your attorneys, who will sign to say that you understand that nature of the document.

We are taking advantage of the fine weather by witnessing documents outside and we would advise each person to have their own black pen.

If you would like to discuss Wills or Powers of Attorney please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange an appointment.

Call us on 01305 251222 Email enquiries@blanchardsbailey.co.uk 

Blanchards Bailey

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