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Wills & Lasting Powers of Attorney – A Guide to Support You During Uncertain Times
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    What you need to know

    During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries from people who have urgent queries regarding making a Will and powers of attorney. Making a Will provides an opportunity to take control of your assets and the reassurance that your wishes are properly recorded.

    Healys Wills & Probate team are currently working remotely and are here to assist you during these difficult times with any enquiries of this nature. We provide a high quality service and as a leading national law firm, have an outstanding reputation for achieving the best outcomes for our clients.

    Our team is available to assist you with your enquiries to your convenience; via telephone, email and video conference call (Zoom, FaceTime & Skype).

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Can I make or update my Will during lockdown?

    Yes. The COVID19 pandemic has prompted many people to reconsider the management of their finances and assets. Please contact our Wills & Probate team, who will guide you through the process of drafting or updating your Will. Once drafted, you will receive your documents via post or email for you to approve.

    How quickly can you draft my Will?

    The preparation of Wills usually takes up to 14 days after we receive your instructions. For urgent matters, we can provide you with an expedited service to meet your bespoke requirements.

    Do I need a witness? And if so how can I get my Will witnessed?

    The law requires that Wills have to be signed by the Will-maker in the presence of two witnesses, who will also be required to sign the document. Your witnesses cannot be those who stand to gain from the Will, such as close family members, nor be married to any such beneficiary.

    In order to meet the government’s guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing, we advise our clients to take the following steps:

    • Contact two suitable witnesses (these can be friends or neighbours for example).
    • Arrange a meeting outside of your home (this could be on a street, driveway or garden for example).
    • Make sure each individual has their own pen (wear gloves if possible) and ensure that two meters distance is kept between you.
    • Place the Will on a flat surface, for each person to step forward and sign.

    What if I cannot get my own witnesses?

    In the most difficult of circumstances and if there is no alternative, our team will do whatever we can to fulfil your requirements and will explore exercising discretion on a case by case basis. For further details, please contact our team directly, by clicking here.

    Can a Will be made or updated from a care home or hospital?

    This will depend on your individual circumstances and the policy of the hospital or care home. Unfortunately, due to government guidelines and limited protective equipment, it is not possible for our team to visit care homes and hospitals. However, we can arrange appointments by phone or video call.

    Please note: If we need capacity reports to ensure a person’s mental ability to make a Will, we can work with third parties to support with an online assessment at this time.

    What happens to my estate if I have coronavirus and have not made a Will?

    If you passed away without a valid Will in place, your estate would be dealt with under the rules of intestacy. How these rules will apply will depend on your personal family circumstances and the value of your estate.

    In general circumstances, a spouse or civil partner and/or any children would take highest priority. Alternatively, other members of your family could inherit, or your estate could end up being handed over to the Crown.

    By making a Will, you can ensure that your assets are passed on to those whom you wish to receive them, and not in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

    Please note: if a loved one dies without a Will and the rules of intestacy do not achieve what is required, it is possible to vary the intestacy provided everyone who would benefit from the estate is in agreement. Our specialist lawyers can advise you about this.

    I have been told Will writing companies provide cheaper Wills. Is this a good idea?

    No. Will writing is not currently a regulated industry, and though many Will writers are good at what they do, many are not. By using a solicitor, you can be safely assured that the person managing the handling of your estate is fully regulated, insured and in a position to provide you with professional and legal advice.

    Please note: for additional reassurance, you should consider instructing a solicitor who is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and recognised as an expert in this field, with proven qualifications and experience.

    I understand that Healys holds my loved one’s Will. How can I receive a copy?

    At the passing of one of our clients, we will request the death certificate of the deceased and ID of the named executor requesting the Will. Once obtained, we will retrieve the Will from our records so that we can provide information regarding any expression of funeral wishes. The Will is then posted securely to the named executors.
    We hope that you found this guide useful. If you have any further queries or would like to make or update a Will, please contact our Wills & Probate solicitors who will be happy to assist you on 0800 280 0432 or email us at: enquiries@healys.com.

    Please visit our website for more information and to meet our Wills & Probate team.

    Call Us Today
    Call our London office on 020 7822 4000 or our Brighton office on 01273 685 888. You can also contact us online.
    Call Us Today
    London: 020 7822 4000 Brighton: 01273 685 888 Or you can contact us online: Contact Us
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      2nd April 2020

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