Just a few weeks ago, ahead of the coronavirus pandemic beginning to, so rapidly, spread here, we went about daily life in a much different way. However, we are all having to adapt as each day goes on.
On Thursday evening most of us stood in awe of our NHS and clapped, whooped, cheered and some even played bagpipes and set off fireworks to show our appreciation for the heroes working at the front line to care for those battling this virus. Our ‘key workers’ are vital to us coming through this difficult time and, as our team of private client lawyers are classed as keyworkers, we are operating ‘business as usual’ but just in a slightly different way.
As a result of the spread of covid-19, we have seen a significant increase in instructions from clients seeking to get their affairs in order by making wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. The Telegraph recently reported that there has been a 30% uplift in people making Wills across the UK, it is also reported that in the USA, there is over a 140% increase in those seeking to ensure their loved ones are provided for should the very worst happen. In order to ensure we are offering clients the best service possible by meeting high demand, we have bolstered our Private Client team with the addition of paralegal Clare McIntosh. We are delighted to welcome Clare who joins from Elizabeth Gibbison’s previous team at Hay and Kilner.
In these unprecedented times, we at short Richardson and Forth are dedicated to assisting you safely with ensuring the legal requirements regarding the validity of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are met, despite the current rules in force regarding the lockdown. Under the Wills Act 1837, a Will is to be signed by the person making it (known as the ‘testator’ or ‘testatrix’ if a male/ female respectively) in the presence of two or more witnesses, present at the same time. Although we are now in lockdown, the execution of a Will can still take place – and we are here to help you with this. Witnesses are also required for the execution of Lasting Powers of Attorney which we can also offer concise guidance around. What’s more, if you’re making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney with us we offer a discounted package which is particularly welcome in these difficult and uncertain times and we offer a further discount for our NHS heroes, so please get in touch if we can help, we would be honoured to.
At the time of writing, we hope there will soon be advice received from the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority which we hope will make the process (of execution of Wills) even easier. We are constantly ensuring we are operating under the latest guidance.
We are keeping our team and our clients as safe as we can, so the majority of the team now work remotely, however rest assured, our office continues to operate through the wonders of technology. Our team are contactable by email, telephone, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime. For any initial enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org; we can usually respond within the same day.
Best wishes from us all in Short Richardson and Forth’s Private Client team.