How Easy Is It To Make A Will During Ongoing Covid-19 Restrictions?
It is very important that every adult in Scotland should have an up-to-date Will. Please don't let COVID-19 restrictions prevent you from writing a Will or updating one.
2020 certainly had many challenges for all of us and it looks like there may be many more in 2021! One of the things we noticed was that it brought into focus some of the important things that were easy to put off before.
At ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan (solicitors & estate agents) in Edinburgh, we have been busy working throughout lockdown no matter what COVID-19 restrictions are in place. We have adapted to different ways of working and enjoyed that some things have moved fast and become much easier than before.
If you’ve been putting off making your Will, and talking about things like Power of Attorney, this is a good time to get it done.Can we make our Wills remotely in Scotland? Do we have to meet in person?
We can do this remotely!
We still have to make sure that we verify your identity and are taking instructions from the correct person, but we can have discussions about your Will by Zoom or another type of video call. Drafts can be emailed or sent in the mail to you and final versions signed at home. You still need a witness, however, solicitors can now act as a witness by video call if it’s difficult for you to arrange to have someone else present when you sign.
We’ve also been doing ‘doorstep’ signings – we can come to your home but we won’t come in, and we can witness your signature at a 2m distance.What information do I need before writing a Will?
You don’t need a lot of information. We will guide you through and let you know what we need from you. We will have a chat about your personal, family and financial circumstances. It is a good idea to have a think about who you would like to inherit your assets in the event of your death, who to appoint as executors (they would be responsible for winding up your Estate), and any key issues that you might have. This might include guardians and Trusts for young children, inheritance tax questions, and protecting assets if there might be potential future care costs, for example. We have created a simple DIY Will that can help think about who you want to inherit your assets.How long does it take to write a Will?
Usually, we can have your Will completed within a couple of weeks of the initial discussions. This gives us time to draft the Will and gives you time to read and think about it, make sure it is exactly what you want, and then arrange to sign the final version once you are ready.What then?
We will keep your original Will safe, and send you a copy to keep at home. It’s a good idea to let at least one other person know that you’ve made a Will and where it is, but you don’t have to tell them what’s in it. It’s entirely confidential. We recommend that you review your Will every 3-5 years and any time your personal, family or financial circumstances change. Clients always tell us it’s a big weight off their mind once the Will is signed. It is easy to make changes in the future.How do I get started?
Contact your solicitor and if you don't already have one, we would be delighted to hear from you at ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan. All our Solicitors are very experienced and we always provide our clients with quality legal advice and excellent customer service.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catriona Torrance is a Solicitor with ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan in Edinburgh and brings a wealth of experience in drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney and Winding up Estates.