The sad fact that the coronavirus does not discriminate in its victims, taking the young and healthy, as well as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, has led to an increase in people wanting to write a will or update an existing one, says Sarah Allen, Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate from Tallents Solicitors.
However, when the country is in lockdown and solicitors’ offices are closed to the general public, how do you go about getting your will sorted and ensure it is still valid?
Writing a will during lockdown
The coronavirus has starkly reminded us that no one knows what life holds for them, which is why having a valid will makes so much sense, especially with the more complex family structures we often have today.
Most people know that a will can be used to ensure that the people you want to are able to deal with your estate, your financial assets are distributed after your death in the way that you want to those who are dear to you, and that it can be used to reduce the inheritance tax due on your estate. Additionally, if you have children under 18, you can also make provision for them in your will, such as who will be their guardian and who will look after their financial concerns.
Now more than ever before, it’s important for everyone to ensure their affairs are in order and the lockdown shouldn’t stop you from doing that, says Sarah.
Tallents Solicitors is approaching will writing during the lockdown on a case by case basis to help clients record their wishes. For anyone wishing to write a will at this time then Tallents are:
- Conducting telephone and video appointments to take instructions and give advice;
- Preparing draft wills which they are sending out to clients for approval;
- Conducting a further appointment to go through the wills when the clients have had their drafts to answer any queries;
- Preparing final wills and sending these out to clients for execution;
- Advising clients on how to have their wills executed in a safe manner following guidance on social distancing;
- Checking that the wills have been executed properly; and
- Continuing to store original wills in our system, ensuring that they are easily available if needed.
Ensure your will is valid
In order for your will to be valid it needs to be witnessed and signed by two independent adults and dated. The witnesses cannot inherit anything from your will or benefit from it in anyway. You will also need to appoint your executors, who will distribute your estate in the event of your death.
When choosing who to write your will with, remember that solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and fully insured too. Now is not the time to rely on a homemade will which may require a significant amount of time to rectify after the will writer has passed on.
Tallents Solicitors offer professional will writing services at their three offices in Newark, Southwell and Mansfield and anyone wishing to write a will is encouraged to make an appointment. We will follow all government guidance on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic while still helping you write or amend your will.