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Updated February 2021
The number of people seeking to write a new Will or amend a current Will has risen substantially since the coronavirus outbreak. It is important in these unprecedented times to keep your affairs in order- our dedicated team at Browell Smith & Co are here to guide you through all your personal affairs, ensuring that you experience a thoroughly professional, confidential, and friendly service.
In this blog post you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about making or amending a Will during the coronavirus pandemic.
Absolutely – yes.
Browells’ Wills and Probate team have developed creative methods for ensuring new and updated Wills are valid at this critical point in time. We are currently helping many clients get their affairs in order after they thought it was not possible during the coronavirus outbreak.
We are doing everything possible to ensure our clients are receiving expert legal advice at this uncertain and critical time.
We are providing same-day telephone or video conferencing appointments for all enquiries regarding Wills and Estate Administration to give you that peace of mind as quickly as possible.
The safest method for signing a Will and having two witnesses present is either from a distance or through a window.
For the safety of all parties, we recommend that each person:
Browells’ Wills and Probate team have found that the following two methods are the safest options for witnessing the signing of a Will:
Provided that all three parties witness the signing, it will meet the requirements of the law.
Parties should also make sure to keep file notes regarding the process and video record where possible.
You need two independent witnesses in order to ensure your Will is valid. They must be over 18 years of age and they cannot be the executor or a beneficiary of your Will. Spouses or civil partners of your beneficiaries should also not act as witnesses. You can have witnesses who are otherwise related to you or the beneficiaries but not mentioned in your Will, however, to avoid any problems invalidating the gifts in your Will, it is preferable to have completely independent witnesses.
Due to the fact that non-essential travel is not permitted, it’s best to ask local neighbours to act as the two independent witnesses. The witnesses can be related to each other, so it is perhaps safest to ask a nearby neighbour and their spouse under the age of 70 years, to limit the social distancing and protect vulnerable members of society.
It’s important to note that your witnesses do not need to read the full Will for their signature to be valid, they merely need to sign the attestation page- which is often at the back of a Will. This allows you to protect the information within if you don’t feel comfortable sharing the details of your Estate.
Yes. The government announced that solicitors acting in connection with the execution of wills and solicitors and barristers advising people living in institutions or deprived of their liberty are classed as key workers.
Keeping the justice system running during the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis is vital. The government acknowledged that legal practitioners are fundamental to achieving this aim.
All of Browell Smith & Co’s legal services are still available by telephone or video appointments, including Family Law, Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, and Conveyancing.
Our fixed price for Wills is highly competitive and there will be no unexpected costs. We’re always transparent when it comes to legal costs and will offer you a clear outline of the pricing and process.
Our fixed-fee, tailored Wills package includes:
Browell Smith & Co is the leading solicitor’s firm in the North East and are here to support you in these uncertain times.
The most important thing is to look after yourselves, your families and everyone else in society. Remember these measures have been put into place to save lives, so do not take unnecessary risks.
Contact our expert team today to arrange a no-obligation chat or telephone our wills team directly on 0191 250 3220 to discuss your particular requirements.
Request a callback and our team will be back in touch as quickly as possible for a free initial consultation. We're continuing to deliver a quality service and our teams are available to take new enquiries and manage existing caseloads via calls and/or video conferencing.