How quickly times change! It seems like only a short while ago that we could shake hands with our clients, see them face to face, there were no masks in sight, and it would have been considered rude to put sanitiser on your hands prior to interacting with a client. All of these things are now the norm.
You’ve decided that you would like to make or update your Will, and are considering powers of attorney as well, but are (understandably) concerned about how to do this safely in the era of Covid-19.
At Legacy Law your health and safety, and ours, is are first concern. We have reviewed and changed our working practices to ensure that we can work with you safely. Luckily technology has come to the rescue!
If you want to discuss your legal affairs, we would ordinarily suggest that we meet face to face for a chat. Hopefully this is something we’ll be able to do as a matter of course again soon.
In the meantime, we have all had to adapt. Here at Legacy Law, we are happy to speak with you over the telephone, or via video conferencing, so that we can ensure that you give full instructions on your documentation, and you have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have. This can be done safely using technology.
We will organise a video call with you, so we can communicate remotely to ensure that you can give your instructions safely.
If rules and circumstances allow, we would still be happy to meet face to face to take instructions. These can be from the safety of your own home, or in your care home or hospital (if the rules allow).
Liaison during your matter
We are used to dealing with clients over the telephone, by email, post, or video conferencing.
We can use whichever method of communication you prefer, to enable you to liaise with us throughout the process.
Signing your documents
The basic law on the execution of documents remains unchanged in the Covid-19 era. The rules are still the same. However, there has been some relaxation of the rules for witnessing documents.
The law still requires that you have two witnesses for a Will. However, the law has now relaxed slightly to allow for witnessing to be completed via video technology. This is a complex and untried area of law and should be avoided unless there is no alternative.
Indeed, even the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) states that: “the use of video technology should remain a last resort, and people must continue to arrange physical witnessing of wills where it is safe to do so.”
Our advice is for documents to be executed as usual and we can provide you with full instructions for the witnessing of documents safely, to ensure that the execution complies with the law for effective documents, whilst also keeping all parties safe. However, if you are shielding and it is not possible to execute documents in the usual way, we can take you through the process of video witnessing if this is the only alternative. It is important that you are able to put your wishes in place, regardless of Covid-19.
If you have any concerns, or queries, about how we can work safely, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to make such adaptations as are possible to allow you to proceed with confidence. Please call us on 0118 40 50 131, or email Catherine at email@example.com.