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This article was published on April 7th, 2020
Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19 has shaken the country and has had an unprecedented impact on the daily lives of everyone in the UK, and it has never been more important to look after ourselves and each other, which is why our Private Client team will be offering the same high-level of client care we always have, albeit with a few essential changes to ensure our team, our clients and the wider community stay safe.
If you take one look at our social media channels you will see that we are always stressing the importance of creating a will.
In light of recent events, our team have been reflecting on what is important in our lives and how important our families and loved ones are to us, now more than ever before, and as a result, we have found ourselves ensuring our wills and legal documents are up to date.
We also understand that the uncertainty that Coronavirus has created may have also left some of our clients, as well as members of our communities in a similar position.
While we may not be able to put your mind at ease regarding the current pandemic, we can help allay your worries with regards to your will, lasting power of attorney, trust or grant of probate, which is why our team have decided to take unprecedented measures to ensure that all your legal needs are met, whilst ensuring that the safety of our staff, our clients and the wider community remain our priority at all times.
As you will be aware if you have read our recent Covid-19 update, we remain open for business, however, as of March 23rd our offices are all by appointment only.
All the legal needs of our clients are still being met thanks to our robust continuity plans, which include all of our team members having access to the files and equipment they need, whilst operating remotely.
We are also facilitating video or telephone conferencing to limit contact between our team and our clients.
We’ve been inspired by the selfless acts that all key workers are carrying out. As a result we want to say a special thank you to each and every key worker by offering them 15% off our wills and lasting power of attorney services until the end of June. We also want to let you know that we’re offering free initial consultations via telephone for anyone looking to create either a will or lasting power of attorney.
As government guidelines have resulted in the implementation of social distancing, which requires minimal contact between people in order to stem the spread of Covid-19, our department has put the following practices in place:
Whilst meeting our clients in person is an aspect of our work that we thoroughly enjoy, it is not possible at this time, however, we have put steps in place to be able to carry out an initial appointment via telephone or by video conference, which will help us ascertain what you want to include in your will and advise you as to the steps you need to take next.
Although we are operating remotely, we are still fully capable of drafting your will, which we will prepare and send out to you in the post in the usual way, however, we are also able to send it to you by email, to minimise the risk of the virus travelling in the post on documents.
Once you are happy with the draft of your will, you will be required to sign it.
We currently offer two approaches:
A member of our team can visit your home and witness the signing through the window, whilst observing social distancing rules.
This process requires a member of our team and another witness (this can be a second member of our team) to post the original copy of your will through your letterbox.
You must then open it, read through it and if you are happy to proceed, you must then sign it in full view of both witnesses.
You must then post the original copy of the will,m which you have signed, back through the letterbox, the witnesses will then also sign the document whilst remaining visible to you.
We will do this with relevant protection such as latex gloves and hand sanitiser, to ensure the process is carried out as safely as possible.
The second option is for clients to a member of our private client team at our office car park.
This process will require clients to remain in their vehicle and sign their approved Will, which we will have already sent to you in the post beforehand.
This will need to be signed in full view of two witnesses who will be standing outside the vehicle at a safe distance of 2 metres in line with Government guidelines.
Once the client has signed the will, they will then pass the document through their window to a member of our team, where both witnesses will sign the document.
We want to make this time as easy for each of our clients as possible.
If you have a question about any of the processes we have outlined here, or you would like to speak to our private client team about an existing will, or give us a new instruction, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can call us for free on 0800 1979 345 or get in touch via our contact form by clicking here.
In the meantime, stay safe!