Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, law firms have reported a 30% rise in people looking to make a Will.
With the country in lock-down as of 23 March, people are required to stay in their homes and avoid face-to-face contact for the next 3 weeks. For anyone in the ‘at risk’ category, as well as the 1.5 million citizens included in the Government’s shield plan, this is likely to be significantly longer. This will make it hard to set out your Will and finalise it in front of witnesses.
If you are still looking to write your Will, or make amendments to existing an Will whilst in isolation, you should consider the following:
- Face-to-face meetings will not be possible at this time. However, firms should be able to arrange a telephone call or video conference in order to talk you through and draft the Will.
- The final copy will still need to be witnessed and signed, so it may be worth waiting until social distancing rules have been relaxed if possible.
- If you do wish to finalise the Will, copies can be sent by mail or email to be printed at home. For the Will to be valid, the witnesses will still need to be present when it is signed but they should do this at a safe distance (approximately 2 meters). If you are in a high-risk category and this is not an option, there have been cases where witnesses have remained outside of the property and observed through a window. However, the validity of this has yet to be tested in court.
- Evidence suggests that the virus can survive on paper for up to 12 hours, and therefore it would be wise to wear gloves when handling any documents and follow hand-washing techniques before and after signing.
To discuss how you may be able to make your Will during the Coronavirus outbreak, please contact a member of our team.
To start a conversation about how we can help you to get the outcome you want
Call us on +44 (0)345 521 4545 or send an email.