We are currently living in unprecedented times – separated from family, friends and colleagues to ensure we do “our bit” to try and stem the spread of Coronavirus.

At times such as this, minds do turn to the issue of ensuring one’s private financial affairs are in order. Should I appoint an attorney just in case I am hospitalised and unable to make decisions for myself? I want to update my will but is it too late to do so now we are in lockdown and social distancing?

 

Guidance on how to manage your private financial affairs

In this blog we will tell you how you can manage your private financial affairs during the Coronavirus lockdown including how to conduct meetings and how you can have your Wills and Powers of Attorney witnessed during these restricting times.

 

Face to face meetings

Whilst face to face meetings are not possible in these unprecedented times, we are fortunate to have the benefits of technology to see each other and talk– Facetime, Whats App, Zoom or Skype to name a few. These tools will help each of us to use the time we have at home to address the preparation of those legal documents which we never got round to doing but now feel a desire to do. It should render your discussions with your professional advisers entirely possible as if you were meeting face to face, whether it be to seek advice, given instructions or execute documents such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.

 

How to have Wills and Powers of Attorney witnessed

There are specific rules setting out how your Will must be signed in order to be valid. Your signature must be witnessed by two independent witnesses who are present when the Will is being signed who are not named as beneficiaries in your Will. We have prepared a guide for our clients to assist in arranging the signing of a Will – “Will signing guidance” appropriately in these challenging times. We are expecting the rules governing the manner in which a Will must be signed to be relaxed in these weeks of social distancing. We are monitoring developments and will update this article as soon as we have news.

 

Further information

If you would like further information or would like some help on the issues raised in this article then please contact Elizabeth Power.

Our page “Coronavirus – Legal advice and guidance” is continually being updated with advice and guidance as and when updates come in from Government or other regulatory bodies.

Elizabeth Power, Partner, Paris Smith

023 8048 2206

Elizabeth.power@parissmith.co.uk