During the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak, many people rushed to write a will to ensure their loved ones were cared for should the worst happen. In some cases, those people who rushed to write their wills in the pandemic named executors without consulting them first.
An executor is the person responsible for ensuring your affairs are dealt with after you pass away. If you don’t consult an executor of your will and they refuse to do it after you’ve passed away, they will need to sign a document called a Deed of Renunciation. This means they are resigning from the job of Executor. Therefore, it’s important you discuss it with your named executor beforehand to avoid any issues.
In this article, we explain how to write a valid will during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Writing a Will During The Coronavirus Pandemic
In England and Wales, if you make a will it must be witnessed by two independent witnesses in order to make it valid. However, with current social distancing measures, shielding and self-isolating to contend with, the final requirement to have the signature of the will witness had become extremely challenging.
Normally, the two independent witnesses need to be physically present and sign the will at the same time as the person making the will. In July, the UK Government announced plans for video-witnessed wills to be made legal during Coronavirus pandemic. This made it easier in some circumstances for people to write their wills during the Coronavirus pandemic.
How to Write a Valid Will During The Pandemic?
With social distancing measures in place and many people still self-isolating there may be logistical difficulties about how to write a valid will during the pandemic.
At Morrish Solicitors, we have been following government guidelines to ensure the safety of our clients and employees. Our experienced team of Wills and Probate Solicitors are able to assist you with writing a will during the Coronavirus pandemic. When we receive your instructions, we will communicate with you via email, phone, video conference or face to face explaining the process whilst adhering to Government guidelines.
Usually our Wills and Probate Solicitors will witness the signing of wills adhering to social distancing guidelines, but if the you’d prefer to sign and witness the will at home, then we recommend having 2 witnesses (not mentioned in or married to any beneficiary in the will for example, neighbours or friends) and ask you to sign in the presence of the witnesses – making sure they are at least 2 metres apart. This can be done in a garden for example, or if the testator is signing on a windowsill and the witnesses are watching from outside, through the window. Then they can sign the document afterwards.
To enquire about wills, probate and lasting powers of attorney please call us on 033 3344 96006.
Importance of Writing a Will
Many people associate writing a will with getting older, it can be something you put off or never get round to doing. Writing a will ensures your wishes are taken care of when you’re no longer around, it’s particularly important if you have children or loved ones who depend on you financially. If a person doesn’t have a will in place, it can cause numerous problems when they die.
Although each person’s situation varies, here are a few reasons you need a will:
- Protecting your own wishes – When a person dies without a valid will, their estate must be shared out according to certain rules which may not reflect their wishes and can be upsetting for those left behind. Therefore, you should write a will to decide how your estate will be distributed determining the ‘who, what and when’ of your estate.
- Protecting your family – In your will you can ensure your family and loved ones are cared for after you pass away. This can include having a say as to who should look after your dependants. If your dependants are under 18, you can appoint their legal guardians. Also, you can provide for their future financially. For example, putting aside money for their education or setting up a trust
- Decide who you’d like to settle your affairs – Within your will, you can name an executor or multiple executors, who are responsible for ensuring your affairs are in order for example, paying off bills and notifying the bank. The executor has the biggest part in the administration of your estate so, you want to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy and organised.
For more information on the importance of writing a will please read our 10 reasons to make a will.
Life Planning Services from Morrish Solicitors
Morrish Solicitors are a highly regarded Law Firm in West Yorkshire providing legal services to clients across the UK. Our trusted legal services range from Employment Law and Family Law to Personal Injury and Life Planning Services.
We have a team highly trained and experienced of solicitors who specialise in all aspects of life planning including wills, probate and lasting powers of attorney. With many years of experience providing legal services to our clients, we will help you plan ahead for the future, ensuring your assets go to the right people, providing security and peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Our advice is always communicated in plain English and we offer a bespoke service which is tailored to your specific needs.
The services we offer include:
• Will Writing
• Estate Administration
• Tax Planning
• Lasting Powers of Attorney
• Court of Protection
• Care Homes
• Advice regarding cost of Residential/Nursing Care
If you would like our help with any of these matters, please call us today on 033 3344 9600 to speak to our Wills and Probate department. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] with your request.