01 Apr 2020
Wills & Probate
We understand people’s concerns but while it is always sensible to be prepared, our advice is not to panic. Although the country is on lockdown, we’re still able to help.
To deal with the current demand we are seeing for our Will writing service, we’ve increased the number of staff who are available to take initial calls. We’ve also adapted our normal processes so that we can process cases quickly and easily, without needing to meet our clients face-to-face.
If you would like to speak to us about making a Will, we’ll make the process as simple and as seamless as possible. One of our team will take your initial call and then arrange a telephone or video call appointment with one of our experienced lawyers. Based on your instructions, we will draft your Will and depending on what technology you have available to you, will email or post it out to you. Once you have approved your draft Will, we’ll provide you with clear instructions on how to sign and witness the Will to ensure it is valid.
Two people need to witness you signing the Will and there are strict formalities to follow to ensure it is done correctly, which is clearly proving more difficult than usual with the social distancing measures that are currently in place. To help with this, we have been providing detailed instructions to our clients to ensure their Wills are executed properly. Where possible, we are also able to view the process via video technology to ensure the testator and the witnesses complete the process properly.
The Law Society is currently liaising with the Government to try and bring forward urgent legislation to change the requirements for witnessing Wills. In the meantime, it is very important to follow the current Government guidance of remaining at least two metres apart so we are urging witnesses to remain at that distance whilst remembering it is necessary for them to be in the line of sight of the testator, in order to comply with the requirements of the Wills Act 1837.
We would encourage anyone who is thinking about writing their Will to obtain professional legal advice, so that they can be assured that their Will is prepared properly. Often, during our telephone conversations, we raise questions and point out unintended consequences that clients would not have thought of without obtaining our advice.
We cannot stress enough how important is it to have a properly prepared Will in place. It provides peace of mind that your estate will be dealt with as you want and should make the process much easier for those you leave behind.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact us by either calling 01633 244233 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).