During these unprecedented times there is a lot for people to deal with. We’re all thinking a lot about our families, talking to each other and reaching out to older relatives. The situation is prompting people to think about issues that are often put to one side, such as making or updating your Will or putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney*.
We want to reassure you that we are here and able to help you. Although face-to-face meetings aren’t possible at the moment, we are conducting meetings either over the phone or via Skype and sending the relevant paperwork for signature by post.
A Will has to be signed by the individual in the presence of two independent witnesses, who also sign the Will and add their name and address. The two witnesses (who can be related to one another) must be over 18 years old and not beneficiaries of the Will or spouses of beneficiaries. Witnessing a signature is possible while adhering to the social distancing rule. It is also possible if you (or a witness) are in self isolation. For instance, you can ask a neighbour or friend to stand in your garden and watch you sign through an open door.
If you are wondering whether to make a Will, you can access our leaflet, ‘Why Make A Will’ by clicking HERE. You can also visit https://www.cozens-hardy.com/wills where you will find lots more information, including costs.
There are a couple of other things we’d like to emphasise:
If you don’t have a Will, there are rules about how money, property and possessions are allocated – known as the ‘Intestacy Rules’ – and this might not be the way that you would have chosen.
There is also no automatic right for cohabiting couples to benefit from each other’s estate on death, irrespective of the duration of the relationship. We wrote a separate article on this, which you can read by clicking HERE. The only way that you can ensure that your assets pass in accordance with your wishes – and you can therefore guarantee that your partner inherits – is to have a Will in place.
If we can help you in any way, please get in touch by phone on 01603 625231 or by email at email@example.com. We realise this is a really tough time for many people and want to reassure you that everyone in our Wills team is caring and compassionate and ready to help you.
* A Lasting Power or Attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose up to four people (your attorneys) to look after aspects of your financial affairs and / or your health and welfare during your lifetime