Signing documents in the Lockdown – Part 2
4 November 2020 by James Bird
With the impending second lockdown starting on Thursday 5th November 2020, many people are now concerned about what this means with respect to their ongoing instructions.
Many departments are able to continue working remotely and this shouldn’t have much of an impact on things. However, sometimes it can’t be done virtually and you just need to know what happens next.
For the Wills, Life Planning, and Probate team, we are still accommodating whatever we can where possible and safe to do so. This blog will provide a quick summary of how we can accommodate signings in our team going forward.
How will Wills be witnessed?
The law still has not changed and requires Wills to be witnessed by 2 independent witnesses who watch you sign. Although the lockdown does restrict some actions, we are still able to offer in-person meetings to sign these where other methods are not viable. For suggestions about signing Wills, please see our previous blog which has various ideas for this.
- It is possible to witness Wills by video call now but there is a very particular set of rules which should be adhered to when using this method. More information can be found on our earlier blog about this here
- If you wish to sign Wills at the office, this can still take place. We have a Covid safe method for doing this whereby Wills are witnessed and signed through glass doors so you are never actually in the same room as another person.
- We are also able to offer home visits as well assuming you are able to provide for another witness to attend but these are absolute last resorts only.
What about signing Lasting Powers of Attorney?
These documents need to be signed in the presence of witnesses and unlike Wills, cannot be witnessed by video conference. Where it is not possible to arrange your own witness/certificate provider, we are still able to act in this capacity and can offer either face to face appointments in the office or home visits (as a last resort).
Finally, Probate and other types of papers…
Where possible, we will continue to send paperwork on these matters either by email (for printing and signing) or by post. Most of the time a Solicitor is not required to witness documents for these matters so clients can arrange their own witnesses (usually only 1 required). Of course, if there are any problems or issues then we can accommodate face-to-face appointments when required.
At FJG we are doing everything we can to keep matters running with minimal disruption and although another lockdown is daunting, clients do not need to worry about this impacting their matters too much. Where there is a Will there is a Way!
Our free Wills scheme is ongoing and despite the Covid-19 crisis, to take part in our free Wills scheme, call 01206 700113 or email [email protected]. For more information on legal updates and changes during the Coronavirus pandemic, visit our Coronavirus Legal Advice hub.