Gareth Hughes

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It is still possible to make or update your Will and to establish Lasting Powers of Attorney

Coronavirus / 24 March 2020

It continues to be possible to make, or update, your Will and to put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney.  We have measures in place to ensure that we continue to provide a service to you and your family during the coronavirus outbreak.

We are conducting appointments by telephone, facetime or video conferencing, such as Skype.  If this is difficult for you, we can have short client meetings if they are deemed essential and we cannot find an alternative solution.  This may be necessary to enable us to witness documents.  We will, of course, ensure that current government guidance on good hygiene and social distancing is followed.

If you would like to make a Will we can start the process off by phone or video call.  From there we can assess how we can take full instructions, advise you on the appropriate solution and provide you with a final document for signing.  It is important to note the requirements for a valid Will are that it must be:

– in writing; and
– signed and dated by you in the presence of two independent witnesses; and
– signed by the two witnesses, in your presence, after you have signed.

We have some innovative ways to help you with this and have already helped clients with documents whilst they have remained in their cars!  Whatever solution we come up we know you will appreciate that we will need to ask you about any recent travel and any symptoms of illness you may be experiencing.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
There are two types of LPA, finance and health.  An LPA appoints an attorney(s) to act on your behalf if you become incapable of doing so.  The LPA must be registered with the Court of Protection, a process that can take up to eight weeks.  A finance LPA can be used by an attorney once it is registered but a health LPA can only be used once you become incapable of making a decision.  The health LPA can also give your attorney(s) the authority to terminate life-sustaining treatment.

You must sign the LPA in front of an adult, independent witness who must then sign and add their details.  A certificate provider must also sign the document, confirming you have capacity to sign it.  We can act as your certificate provider or it can be someone that has known you for two years.  The attorneys also sign the document and their signature must be witnessed.  Again, we can work with you to ensure the required approach is followed.

Everyone here can access our systems remotely and our business infrastructure has been designed to fully support secure and confidential remote working.  As home working increases, our excellent systems will ensure client service will continue at our usual high standards.

Our business continuity plan is delivering proportionate and considered action based on government guidance.  We look forward to continuing to provide you with the service you need, handling your matters efficiently whilst playing our role in ensuring our staff, clients and the wider community are protected.

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