Personal Law

When most people think of making a will, they imagine meeting with a lawyer at their office, being asked specific questions about things you may or may not have considered, receiving a draft to review following that meeting and then having another meeting to sign their will.

We are now living in very different times, and what we have always taken for granted including going out for dinner, socialising with friends and even meeting a lawyer, cannot take place.  The disruption to our daily lives is immense, and it can feel that we have very little control when faced with the increasing restrictions on day to day life.

For most of us this means no longer having that daily commute, school and nursery runs, and we are no longer providing a taxi service to swimming lessons, football practice, dance classes and the like.  We may have time to think about those things which we have been meaning to get around to and finally tick them off the to do list.  Making a will almost always falls into that category, and recent statistics show that about 54% of adults do not have a will at all.

In these unprecedented times, there are three key reasons why every person should consider making (or, if they already have one, reviewing) their will:-

  • Control – you choose who administers and inherits your estate;
  • Certainty – you know you have appointed people you trust to manage your affairs and you have made appropriate provision to safeguard the interests of your beneficiaries; and
  • Cost – putting a will in place is much cheaper than the extra cost involved when winding up an estate where there is no will.

Given the restrictions that we are all under, a fresh perspective is needed to ensure that people are still able to tick this off their to do list and get the tailored, expert advice they need as quickly as possible.

Whilst there are many things that we do not have as a result of social distancing measures, one thing we do have is technology.  This is allowing us to have video calls with our families, for those of us working from to have virtual meetings with colleagues, and it allows us to watch more box sets than ever before (Succession and Bloodline both excellent dramas that raise interesting estate planning questions!).  The technology available to us also means that we can have virtual meetings with clients to take their instructions and have their wills signed.  This can be done at a time that suits each individual person.   All that is needed from a technology point of view is a smart phone, tablet or computer.

With a will costing as little as £180 for a single person or £270 for a couple making wills in favour of each other (inclusive of VAT), this is one way to retain control and look after your family during these uncertain times. You also give yourself peace of mind knowing that another task has been ticked off that to do list.

Angela McCulloch
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