Four simple steps to making a Will with during ‘lockdown’ with Whitehead Monckton
As you may be aware, the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis and social distancing measures that have been put in place by the government mean our offices are now closed. However, we are still very much open for business and working remotely.
We appreciate that you may be apprehensive in the circumstances about taking the time to review your current Will, or making a new one. You may also be wondering how we can still provide you with the same service given that you cannot attend the office.
Making a Will in itself can be quite daunting, but we want to reassure you that we are still there to assist you from start to finish. We have therefore set out our simple four-step process for making/reviewing a Will with Whitehead Monckton, all from the comfort of your own home, whilst still getting the same level of service and commitment as if you were attending the office in the normal way!
1. Get in touch
Simply pick up the phone and contact our reception team on 01622 698000 to be put through to a Tax and Estate Planning secretary. They will then answer any initial queries you may have and arrange for a fee earner in the team to give you FREE telephone or video call back at a time that is suitable and convenient for you. Alternatively, visit our website https://www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk/ to have a browse of our Will and other services and leave your contact details under our ‘Get in Touch’ service at the bottom of our ‘Contact Us’ page.
When booking in your appointment, the secretary will send you a link to a simple questionnaire for you to complete and return (by photograph/email) so that the fee earner is best placed to advise you during the meeting. We will also need two forms of identification from you and, if possible, we will ask you take a photo of yourself with photo identification i.e. driving licence or passport and a form of proof of address i.e. bank statement or utility bill, in order to satisfy our money laundering regulation requirements.
2. Video or telephone meeting
During the telephone or video meeting, the fee earner will listen and advise on any implications of your wishes, discuss your circumstances, discuss inheritance tax and then talk through the numerous options available to you. This will all be done whilst you remain in the safety of your own home. During the meeting you will be given a quote for our fixed costs in carrying out the work on your Will and there is no obligation for you to proceed afterwards.
3. Sending your Will in draft
Should you decide to instruct us then, provided there are no unforeseen issues that arise in us acting for you, we will proceed with drafting your Will and accompanying documents, which include a detailed letter of explanation and advice. This will be sent to you by email or by post, whichever is more convenient for you.
You will then have the time to review the terms of your Will and the opportunity to ask the fee earner any further questions you may have, together with letting them know of any further changes/amendments that may be required.
4. Signing your will during social distancing
Once you are happy with your final draft Will, we will arrange to send you a final engrossed version by post for signing. You will need to sign your Will in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses can be neighbours or work colleagues (if you are a key worker and still attending your place of employment) but they must not be anyone who receives a benefit under your Will. We will provide you with clear instructions on how to sign your Will in a manner that complies with the validity requirements by law and also social distancing measures. Above all else we will provide you with instructions that ensure your safety at all times.
In any event, if there are any difficulties with you finding suitable witnesses then the fee earner may be able to assist and this can be discussed with you if necessary.
Once signed and witnessed, your Will is then valid and there is no need to worry any further. We will advise you to safely store the Will at home until Covid-19 measures have been lifted, so that you can then return the Will to be stored at our offices free of charge.
As always, if you have any queries at all then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01622 698000 and ask to speak with a member of the Tax and Estate Planning team.