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New Year’s Resolution: Making a Will (remotely)

Our People - Chryso Loizides
19 January, 2021

Who needs a will?

In short, everybody. A will is the only way to ensure you retain control over what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die. Without a will, your estate passes in accordance with legal rules that are unlikely to be in line with your wishes. A well drafted will may also help reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on your estate.

Writing a will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially. A lot of people and mostly co-habiting couples have found themselves facing difficult and uncertain situations after the death of their loved one.

Regardless of how much or how little you think you have, a will is always important to set out what you want to happen after your death.

Can I make a will without visiting my Solicitor?

The current social distancing guidelines that are in place to combat COVID-19 make completing a will more challenging than usual. However, it is still possible to make a will during lockdown and we can offer the solution.

Here at GN Law, we are keeping our office open ‘vitually’. We are able to take instructions from clients using a video platform of the client’s choice. These video platforms could include Facetime, What’s App, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.

Once we obtain the client’s instructions then we provide an advice letter and a draft will either electronically or by post or both. Once we receive confirmation of the approval of the will then we prepare a final version for signing.

To be valid, a will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. All three persons, the will maker and both witnesses must be present at the same time of signing. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, everyone has had to become more creative in their arrangements. For example, wills can be witnessed by neighbours through a window, from the garden gate or on a car bonnet as long as all three persons are present at a social distance and can see each other sign. Everyone would need to use their own pen and it would be preferable to wear gloves for extra safety.

We have summarised below some helpful tips:

  • Contact your witnesses and agree a time and place where they can act as witnesses.
  • Ask your witnesses to bring their own pen.
  • Wash your hands, sign your will and put your will on a suitable surface and walk away.
  • Ask them to sign the will and add their details.
  • Wash your hands again

We also offer to store your will free of charge in our fireproof safe. If you wish for GN Law to store your will, then we can send you a free pre-paid envelope to safely return to the original to our offices.

Contact Chryso Loizides in the Wills, Trust and Probate department on 020 8492 2290 or by e-mail to book your appointment.

Chryso is a solicitor in the Wills, Trusts & Probate and Court of Protection departments.

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