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Lockdown Law | I’ve been putting off making a Will for a long time, should I do it now and is it still possible during lockdown?

February 04, 2021

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I’ve been putting off making a Will for a long time, should I do it now and is it still possible during lockdown?

Anyone who has a family, especially children that they want to provide for, or who has undergone a life event such as marriage, separation, house purchase, setting up a business or even inheriting money themselves, should think about making a Will, or updating the one they already have.

However there are some practical problems when it comes to accessing advice on Wills during the various lockdowns and restrictions we have seen during the pandemic. Even after Covid, taking time off to find a solicitor and visit their offices is often a significant barrier for many people when it comes to making a Will.

Many firms now offer remote Will drafting services, in particular through video calls.  Throughout the Covid crisis we have found that clients are more comfortable with receiving advice via video calls than previously thought, and of course many people are now familiar with using video to keep in touch at work or with family and friends.

If you think the time has come to make a Will or you just want to talk through your options, but do not have the time or means to visit an office in person, you can arrange an appointment with a solicitor using most of the popular video apps such as Zoom. All you need is a tablet, phone or laptop with a camera. There is no IT technical know-how required.

Many solicitors can take instructions on the Will from you, advise you and answer your questions, all by video link. They will then draft the Will and send it to you, by post, with detailed instructions on how to properly execute it.

It is worth stressing that although a solicitor will give clear instructions on how to execute the Will, they cannot supervise it. The rules governing the video execution of Wills are new and complex.

They contain a number of risks and therefore we recommend that Wills are executed in the traditional way, with witnesses physically present, which is still possible whilst adhering to social distancing.

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