The Coronavirus global pandemic has affected everyone’s lives and it has left many, especially key workers, questioning their mortality and what would happen in the worst case scenario. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that many people are deciding there is no time like the present to write or update a will.
Writing a Will During Lockdown
The issue that has arisen is that most solicitors are currently also on lockdown and so we have had to think about ways in which we can help people at home wanting to make wills. Although technically, there is no need for a will to be drawn up and witnessed by a solicitor, it is advised to ensure it is legally sound and will have the effect you want.
This is especially so if you have a business, your permanent home is outside of the UK, you have dependents, or there are several family members who could make a claim against your estate.
If you have never written a will before, it is easy to make mistakes, and this could lead to issues after you are gone when it is too late to put them right. For example, if the wording isn’t explicit, there could be misunderstandings or disputes.
Some of the most common mistakes made on DIY wills include:
- Failing to have the will properly signed and witnessed.
- Failing to correctly deal with any last minute amendments or errors on the will before signing.
- Failing to take into account the possibility of a beneficiary or executor may die before the person making the will.
- Failing to take into account all money, property or assets.
- Failing to understand the effect of marriage, divorce or dissolution on a will.
How to Make a Will at Home with Our Help
If you decide to make a will, then we can still help, even if we are not able to meet with you. You can contact us either by email or by telephone.
Prior to that contact we would suggest that you gather together the information which we would need to help you make your will. The basic details which we would need from you at the start will be:
- Your full name, address, marital status and whether you have any children.
- The full names of the beneficiaries and the executors.
- Details of your assets and whether you own them in your sole name or jointly with another person.
We appreciate that making a will without having a face to face meeting with a lawyer may be difficult and may present more of a challenge for those who have any physical or mental illnesses that affects their ability to remember information or make decisions. People may also take medication that affects their ability to remember or make decisions. If you fall into these categories, then please do still contact us and we will be able to discuss with you the service which is most suitable for you.
Whilst we will not be able to meet you to oversee the execution of the will, we can help you to make sure that your will is properly signed whilst you maintain social distancing with your witnesses.
Be More Informed About Wills and Probate
If you have never considered making a will before, or would simply like to learn more about this area of the law, then the compiled list of informative articles will outline the basic need-to-know knowledge:
- Probate and Wills Jargon Buster – During an emotionally-charged time, the last thing you need is to be confused by terminology. This jargon buster will help explain the legal wording.
- Adding a Codicil Vs Updating Your Will – This piece outlines the different options, the pros and cons, and when each may be most suitable.
- Do I Need to Make a Will? Why Bother? – Still on the fence regarding whether you need a will right now, or at all? Then you may like to read this.
- Next of Kin – What Are My Rights? – Many people assume that being a next of kin means they automatically inherit, however, this isn’t always the case. Find out why here.
- Why Use a Probate Solicitor? – Although not advised, you can create a DIY will. However, there are some instances where this will not stand. Find out when and why you need a solicitor by reading this piece.
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Probate from Howells Solicitors – Hopefully you will not have to go through this process anytime soon, but this guide details the process and can show you what to expect if, and when, that day does come.
- Taking Time Off Work for a Funeral: What Are My Rights? – If you are still working during the lockdown, this piece will explain your rights should you need to take a day off.
Speak to a Member of Our Team
If you have a question about a specific circumstance or would like the help of one of our friendly and knowledgeable wills and probate solicitors, please get in touch with Howells and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.