As a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers. I’m in receipt of guidance issued by them on Covid-19 and getting your Wills drafted. So, I felt you’d find it helpful and reassuring if I shared that guidance with you. First though, I’ve set out things to think about and the information I would need to discuss your Wills:
Decisions you must make when drafting your Wills and information required:
• Who will act as your executors? It’s common for married couples to appoint each other in the first instance. And then to substitute executors in the event of both your deaths.
• Who will be the guardians of your children?
• Will you leave your estates to each other and then the children (when you have both passed away)? This is very common for married couples.
• If something were to happen to the entire family, then who would the default beneficiaries be?
• Would you like to leave specific items to specific people e.g. jewellery to a daughter?
• Do you want to add your funeral wishes e.g. cremation over burial?
• Do you have life insurance policies written in trust and who are the beneficiaries named?
• Do you have a rough idea of the value of your assets (whether in a sole name or joint ownership)?
• Can you scan me a copy of some photo ID for the two of you – a passport or driving licence will suffice. You’ll also need them at our meeting because I’ll need you to show me the originals.
These are things to think about and, as far as possible, agree on before we meet. I can advise on your inheritance tax position if you have an idea of the value of your total assets.
THE PRACTICAL SIDE OF COVID-19 AND GETTING YOUR WILLS DRAFTED
Based on the guidance from the Institute of Professional Will Writers that I mentioned earlier, this is how I’ll conduct Will writing work will we have this lockdown and social distance requirement.
I’ll now be meeting all my clients via FaceTime, Zoom or Skype. During such a virtual meeting I’ll ask clients to show me photo ID.
• Then I’ll draft your documents and send them to you via email.
• I’ll then email the final Wills to you with instructions on how to sign them. If it’s not possible to post them to you I’ll send them to you by email with instructions on how to sign them.
• In addition, I’ll be offering a free checking service to see if you’ve signed your Will correctly.
Signing the Wills:
This will depend on your practical situation. Some of my clients have asked neighbours to witness their signatures through the window and then passed the Wills through the letter box or over a garden fence so they can sign as the witnesses. Such creative solutions as this are fine in our current extraordinary circumstances. BUT you must observe two things:
1. They must see you signing the Will …
2. …and you must see them signing it. All the while maintaining the appropriate social distance of course.
I cannot offer any specific advice about how to do this but the main thing is to ensure that all parties are safe and following government guidelines.
Please feel free to call me on 07538946839 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on how I can help you with your Wills.
Please stay safe and take care.