Coronavirus and making your Will
The new Coronavirus disease, officially named COVID-19, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. As the virus continues to spread extensively, it is posing a significant challenge to many organisations.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, many UK citizens have urgent questions concerning ongoing legal matters and potential cases. Our priority at GN Law is our client’s safety and wellbeing and we have implemented procedures to protect our clients.
Throughout this public health emergency, we have updated our procedures and policies so we can easily correspond with new and existing clients by phone, email, WhatsApp and video conferencing platforms such as Skype or Zoom. No ‘in person’ visits are required other than in extreme circumstances.
We anticipate the COVID-19 outbreak will make many people decide they wish to make a Will and we are here to help. We are committed to ensuring our clients have the peace of mind that they need at this time and to provide a professionally drawn up Will which can be prepared and signed in line with current government guidance.
How can I make a Will without having to leave my home?
GN Law is avoiding face to face contact as far as possible and face to face contact may also become impossible in the weeks and months to come. However, this does not prevent you making your Will with us.
Solicitors who write Wills are currently listed as “key workers” and so it is our mission to ensure that we continue to provide the highest level of service, even if that does not mean meeting with our clients in person.
At GN Law, we can obtain instructions by phone, email, WhatsApp, video conferencing platforms, which include Skype, Zoom and FaceTime or by any other means suggested and agreed. We will be able to forward you a draft of your will by email and/or via post and you could either instruct us to amend your Will or approve the draft of your Will either by phone or email.
How can I execute/sign my Will from home?
Even though it is preferable for us to witness the execution of your Will, in these difficult times it would be possible, with clear instructions, to execute your Will from home, following the procedure set below:
- We will send you, via post, a signature version of your Will.
- The Will must be witnessed by two people, neither of whom are related to you and neither of whom (or their respective spouses) are beneficiaries under your Will. This could be your neighbours or work colleagues or people in your household.
- Both witnesses must be present with you through the entire process. Not only should they see you sign, but you should also see both of them sign.
Once your will has been executed you could either keep it for your records or return it back to GN Law for safekeeping. We will also provide you with a copy of your Will. We are also happy to enclose a pre-paid envelope with which you could return your Will. It really is that simple.
What if I do not have independent witnesses to execute my Will?
If you do not have the ability to request assistance from two independent witnesses who can witness you signing your Will at home, then we can arrange either for us to visit you or you can arrange to come to the office.
Any visits must be only conducted in exceptional circumstances with full social distancing rules adhered to. We may wear masks or gloves for your (and our) protection and always have hand sanitiser available at the office.
However, we will always try to agree other ways that we could assist you in order to avoid face to face contact and secure your safety and wellbeing. For peace of mind, we can also be present by video or telephone while you sign your will in case you have any questions.
Please note, that for our staff to visit you at your property, we charge call out fees, which will be agreed with you prior to the visit. These fees depend on the distance our staff would need to travel.
Also, for obvious reasons, we will not be able to meet with people who either have been confirmed with Coronavirus or currently present symptoms.
How can I pay GN Law for their services from home?
We are able to provide you with a secure payment link where you can pay the agreed amount online.
We can also provide our BACS details for online payments to be made to us directly. Cheques can also be sent to us as we continue to receive post at our offices.
We will be also sending you either by post or by email (based on your preference) an invoice for our services.
In the meantime, we hope you all stay safe and well.