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COVID-19 / Coronavirus - Making a Will during lockdown

View profile for Joel Evans
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COVID-19 / Coronavirus - Making a Will during lockdown

This is a difficult and uncertain time for all of us. It may be the panic of the pandemic or the reflection that lockdown has allowed for, but more people than ever are finally making a Will or updating their current Will. The lockdown has forced us to close our six offices to the public for the first time in our 38 year history, but we are still here to help you whenever you need us. This is how Devonalds can help you to make or update your Will during COVID-19:

  1. Contact us via any of the following methods:
  • Give us a call on 01443 755189
  • Email lifeplanning@devonalds.co.uk
  • Fill out our enquiry section on our website
  • Send us a message on our Facebook page

We can answer any queries you have, give you an idea of the costs involved, and then make an appointment to discuss your Will with you.

  1. We’ll meet with you remotely, ideally via a video call on Zoom, Facetime, Whatsapp Video or Skype. If you are unable to complete a video call, then we can instead meet via a normal telephone call.
  2. We’ll discuss your wishes, offer some advice, and work out exactly what is needed for your Will. We’ll then quickly send you a draft Will by email, or by post if you’d prefer. You then let us know whether any changes are needed to the draft, or if you are happy with it.
  3. Once a draft Will is approved, we will send you a final copy, together with instructions on how to properly sign it. You’ll need to sign the Will with two witnesses who will then also need to sign it. The witnesses cannot be anyone mentioned in the Will or anyone closely related to those mentioned in the Will. You could ask your neighbours to witness, or your friends to witness if they can pass your house on their daily exercise. Obviously at the moment it is important to maintain social distancing when signing the Will. Some of our clients have been signing the Will whilst witnesses view the signing through a window, “over the garden fence” or even from separate cars. Your witnesses don’t need to read through the Will, you just need to make sure they have a clear unobstructed view of you signing.
  4. After signing the Will, we ask that you send the original back to us so we can check that it has been signed and witnessed correctly. We then safely store the original Will for you free of charge and send you a copy for your records.

Despite the recent increase in people making Wills, it is estimated that one in three people die without making a Will. You may have put off making a Will for a variety reasons. Some find the process too daunting, some think they don’t need a Will until they’re older, or you may have thought it was not possible to make the Will during lockdown.

If you don’t make a Will, the intestacy rules decide who inherits what, and your loved ones could miss out. Not making your wishes clear can cause arguments, stress and financial difficulties for your family. Not reviewing and updating your Will can lead to the same issues, so make sure whenever your circumstances or personal wishes change, your Will is changed to reflect that. 

Although our procedure has changed during COVID-19, we assure you our professional standards and first-class service has remained the same. We are accredited by the Law Society for Wills & Inheritance Quality, reflecting the high standards of our legal practice in this area. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) providing assurance that we continually meet the most rigorous legal and professional standards.

Making a Will can provide you with peace of mind and protect your loved ones in this most uncertain of times, so contact us today.