The Coronavirus outbreak has caused many people, young and old, to think about their own mortality and has led to a surge in demand for new wills. Some statistics report demand for new wills in April 2020 being 50% higher by comparison to April 2019. Many front line workers who are most exposed to the virus have young children and thoughts turn to what financial provision or arrangements have been put in place for their future care, should illness strike.
There are many advantages in appointing a solicitor to prepare a will for you. It is important that your new will is valid, to ensure that your intentions regarding funeral arrangements and the care of your loved ones will be implemented in accordance with your wishes. You may also benefit from advice on structuring your affairs and the provisions of your will in a tax efficient way that reduces the burden of tax payable on your death.
Wills need to be signed and witnessed in person to be valid and enforceable. The rules preclude any person who is to benefit from the will from witnessing the signature of the person making the will. Lockdown measures have presented practical difficulties for the witnessing of signatures. At the start of the pandemic, The Law Society and The Ministry of Justice said that it was urgently looking at ways to review the existing requirements, perhaps to permit a signature to be virtually witnessed by Skype or Zoom, or What’s App. However, they have since changed their minds, and no changes in the law are now imminent.
Our lawyers are working harder than ever during the lockdown to deliver a timely, professional and cost effective service. Should you need your Will updated, or seek advice on Estate planning, please call us on 01460 279279.