Coronavirus has changed every aspect of our lives recently, but we are finding many people are using the time during the lockdown as an opportunity to review their affairs, for example, considering their Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). This article highlights some of the adaptations we have made to the process of advising clients at this time, and to give our clients peace of mind that instructing us is just as simple as it has always been.
In more ‘normal’ times, we do favour an in-person approach to advice, because it allows the best communication and enables us to provide the quality of service and advice we pride ourselves on.
The main challenges resulting from social distancing, in the context of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, have been:
- Meeting with our clients to provide advice;
- Formally identifying our clients, to be able to act for you;
- Delays with the postal service;
- Signing original documents;
- Witnessing of documents; and
- Acting as Certificate Provider in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney.
At TWM, we can now hold video calls with our clients using your preferred digital app, for example, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom etc., to facilitate a face-to-face appointment.
We are required to verify our clients’ identities. There are several different ways that we can do this, but the most straight forward way is by video call, so that we can see you on screen, along with your photo ID and using approved digital ID verification software.
In most cases, correspondence can be sent by email rather than by post.
We can carefully guide you through the signing and witnessing process in relation to both Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, helping you to ensure that the documents are properly executed in accordance with the law, while ensuring that social distancing and shielding are properly observed.
We can also talk you through ensuring that your Lasting Powers of Attorney are validly certified by a Certificate Provider and, if necessary, fulfil that role if there is no other person able to act.
At TWM, our Private Client team is specialist in Wills, trusts, estate planning and personal tax. If you would like to speak to one of our team, please get in touch via direct email, direct telephone number, or you can call one of our office reception numbers.