Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney: Can I Still Make a Will or LPA during Covid 19?

By Adam Smith

“Demand for wills surges following Covid-19 reality check”

The Telegraph

We at ORJ Solicitors are actively monitoring and reacting to the on-going COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and are following all guidance and advice issued by the UK Government, NHS, Public Health England and The Law Society.

In these difficult times, the key to taking control is planning ahead, so you can rest easy knowing your assets and loved ones are secure. Here at ORJ Solicitors, we can effectively help you write your Will protecting your assets. We can also help you to put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney to allow nominated family members to make certain decisions or take certain actions on your behalf should you not be able to do so yourself.

Making a Will during Covid 19

Wills are personal documents and understandably most clients prefer face-to-face contact with their Will Writer. However, at present sitting in a room together can be an unfavourable concept and so contact will be achievable via safer means.

Instructions can be taken:

  • Over the telephone and by email
  • By completing our wills instruction form
  • By video conference (Skype/WhatsApp)

Once drafted the Will can be sent to you via e-mail or by post for approval or amendment.

How do I get my Will witnessed during Covid 19?

Wills must be signed by the Will-maker (testator) in the physical presence of two independent witnesses, who must, in turn, sign the document themselves. Neither witness can be those who stand to gain from the Will or be married to any such beneficiary.

It is not difficult to see how current government guidance could pose problems arranging for wills to be validly signed.

The Ministry of Justice is currently considering temporarily changing the law in terms of what constitutes a valid will. However, until we hear further, we must abide by social distancing laws. An example of witnessing could be to call your neighbours or your friends and arrange a meeting in your garden, driveway or street. Everyone should use their own pens, wear gloves and ensure they stand two metres apart.

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

We have adopted a similar approach for the preparation of Lasting Power of Attorneys.

We can take clients instructions by telephone, instruction form or video conference and ask you to send us your instructions by post or email, which we will follow up with a phone call. We will then draft your LPAs and e-mail or post them to you. You will only need one witness for an LPA.

You will then need to send us the LPA so that we can arrange to send the other relevant sections to your attorneys for signature.

Once all relevant sections of the LPA have been signed, we will send it to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration as normal.

Please email Adam Smith adam.smith@orj.co.uk or Patrick Tedstone patrick.tedstone@orj.co.uk or give us a call on 01785 223440 to find out more.

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