Samantha Buckthought, Senior Private Client Partner at Wolferstans Solicitors says that whilst Covid-19 is causing nationwide concern, the advice for clients is the same as normal – or almost.
“There can be no-one in the UK who is not aware that life is currently changing for us all. It is a scary and unprecedented time, with conflicting stories and press coverage that is very concerning for everyone.
Children are off school, people are working from home, supermarket shelves are empty, elderly people are cut off from their loved ones, and we are all steeling ourselves for what the next few months may bring. The only certain thing seems to be that nothing is certain!
There is no cause to panic, but understandably people are concerned about being unwell, or perhaps losing a loved one, and with lots of us being forced to have more time on our hands at home it is inevitable that people are thinking about putting their affairs in order and tackling those jobs that sit forever on the To Do list…painting the fence, tidying that cupboard…doing their Will.
About 60% of the adult population in the UK do not have a Will. It is no more pressing now that you do one than any other time; we all drive cars, we all cross roads and we all age, but events such as our current health crisis does make people think more about their families, their affairs, their young children and what might happen.
The message as a private client lawyer is always to do a Will and keep it up to date. It is a quick, inexpensive process that can avoid considerable expense and heartache at a time when families grieve. Not making a Will means that you die intestate and very outdated rules dictate who is to inherit from you; often meaning that unmarried couples, step children and mixed families experience considerable difficulty. Yet often people are slow to put their affairs in order.
Many elderly people may already be worried that they have not made or reviewed their Will and that they now cannot go out to see a solicitor to remedy that. Many others may now be at home looking after children or with family members and with extra time on their hands.
There is no better time to get it off the To Do List. At Wolferstans we are still able now, despite the restrictions placed on us all, to take instructions via phone or Skype and to organise your Will for you, potentially without you having to leave your home, and within a matter of days. We have been able to put many minds at rest by helping families make arrangements, simply for peace of mind. We may not be able to see you in person, but we can still ensure that your wishes are carried out.
The message is not to do a Will because of Covid-19 – but not to let Covid-19 prevent you from doing one if that is your wish.
In other words Keep Calm and Carry On …. but from a distance!”
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