The pandemic and lockdown has brought new challenges to the Wills and Probate Team. As lockdown started many people realised that they didn’t have a will in place that reflected their wishes and that their estate may not pass to those they really wanted to benefit. They realised that during their lifetime without Lasting Powers of Attorney (whether for Financial Affairs or Health & Welfare), their family may struggle to deal with matters on their behalf.
At AST Hampsons we are proud of the fact that we have been able to continue to offer face to face meetings with a dedicated qualified solicitor able to discuss your requirements in depth. During lockdown we have had to look at new ways of working so that we can still provide the same level of service without putting clients and staff at risk . We are able to arrange meetings by Zoom or Facetime and telephone and we are now returning to meeting clients in our office when necessary as we have safety measures in place .
Wills in particular need to be signed in a certain way to be valid and this involves the person making the will and two witnesses to be in each other’s presence at the same time . Covid19 has meant that these rules need to be updated and the Ministry of Justice intends to introduce legislation in September that will enable wills to be signed using video technology. The legislation will be backdated to wills made between 31st January 2020 and 31st January 2022 however this procedure is likely to be more complex as the will still has to be physically signed by all parties and will need to be sent to the witnesses . Once the legislation is in place we will be providing more details, in the meantime we are able to see clients and provide the witnesses or to send the wills by post with full instructions and we additionally confirm those instructions by phone .
We look forward to receiving any enquiries for further information.