Posts tagged “coronavirus”

Since the 1960s, owning an idyllic holiday or retirement villa in a beautiful corner of Spain has been a dream for many people. 
 
It’s estimated that 800,000 to 1 million homes in Spain are owned by British citizens, with over 380,000 living there full-time. 
 
Many British property owners in Spain are retirees with grown-up families. If this sounds like you or a family member it is important to give some thought to what should happen to property and assets in the UK and in Spain. 
People are now more than ever realising that their affairs should be put in order. And with the situation as it currently is, there is a sharp rise in people suddenly jumping on the bandwagon and setting themselves up in their bedroom as Will Writers, offering cheap online Wills. So why should you choose someone like Angela Jane Will Writing over a online cheap will? 
We’re all learning to use technology in our daily lives, from banking, reading the news or looking for a dinner recipe but should you make an online Will? 
 
Here are some things you should know. 
Laptop with government website Wills page
People are asking whether, because of the requirement to have two witnesses, it is possible to create a valid Will during the current coronavirus lockdown. 
 
Currently, your Will must be in writing and be signed and dated by you or by another person ‘in your presence and at your direction’. If someone else signs your Will then it is a good idea to keep record with your Will of why this was necessary. 
 
You will also need two or more witnesses who are present when you sign your Will. Witnesses must be over 18, they must not be partially sighted and must have the mental capacity to understand what they are doing and what it means. The reason two independent witnesses are essential is to prove, if needed, that your Will was properly executed. 
 
The obvious solution during the current lockdown might be to ask people in your house to sign your Will, but they can only do this if they and their spouses are not beneficiaries of your Will. They would lose their inheritance by witnessing your Will. 
 
The Covid-19 pandemic puts things in perspective and shows just how crucial it is to make and put in place a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. With concerns at the forefront for both clients and Will Writers in the event of a ‘lockdown. 
 
There will be a lot of advisors worried about carrying out face to face meetings, in particular with vulnerable clients, and how it will affect themselves too. 
 
The outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK population will, for many, bring into sharp focus the importance of having in place an up-to-date will. As it become necessary for companies to work at home, and restrict face to face contact with clients, or even close their doors temporarily, this could impact on the ability of clients to put in place new wills or Lasting Power of Attorney documents. 
 
For clients who are self-isolating or do not wish have a face-to-face meeting, there are other options available. I can offer Telephone call for will writing services in which I can take instructions and provide advice over the telephone, and then providing draft and final wills via email or post. 
 
In usual circumstances, those with complex needs will usually benefit from a face to face meeting, but if face to face contact is restricted, there is no reason a detailed conference could not take place over the telephone or by video call. 
 
The position in relation to vulnerable clients, including those in nursing homes or hospitals, is likely to be more complex. Such people often need face to face meetings as it may not be possible to take their instructions using other methods, and there are more likely to be concerns about issues such as capacity and undue influence. I where possible will remain for as long as possible willing to carry out visits to such clients, but hurdles will be faced if, for example, many nursing homes and hospitals are restricting visits. In such cases it will probably be necessary to liaise closely with family members and relevant parties such as nursing home staff, in order to try and facilitate the most appropriate arrangements for meetings to take place with these vulnerable clients. It goes without saying that those undertaking visits will need to be mindful of guidance regarding close contact with individuals in order to protect themselves and others as far as possible. 
 
I am always at the end of a phone for help and advice. 
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