Making a Will during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic most of our worlds have been thrown in to a state of uncertainty and panic. It is a good time to pause and reflect on whether your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive are in place and if so, whether they sufficiently meet your wishes.
At Johnston Withers Lawyers we are taking steps to ensure the safety of our staff and clients when attending our office. To learn more click here.
Making a Will: Virtual instructions
We are continuing to assist our clients with the preparation of their estate planning documents. We are very mindful of new policies regarding social distancing and encourage all clients to at first instance provide instructions by telephone or Skype. Drafts of your documents can then be prepared and posted or emailed to you and then ultimately a meeting convened to have all of the documents executed.
Finalise the documents: In person
One of our solicitors will need to meet with you face to face to finalise the documents so we can confirm your instructions, ensure your testamentary capacity and understanding of the documents and to witness your signing of the documents in accordance with legislation. This will be done under the appropriate conditions.
When should I update my will?
We encourage everyone to review their Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives to ensure that they are up to date and adequately reflect your current wishes.
Generally, you should update your will in the following circumstances:
- You enter into a new relationship (registering a domestic partnership or marriage will completely cancel your will)
- You end a relationship (only divorce, not separation, will remove references to your former spouse from your will. The rest of your will remains in place)
- Births, deaths, estrangements with friends or family
- Change in your assets that warrant a change to your will
Even if none of these events have occurred it is good practice to review your will at least every 5 years to ensure it correctly expresses your wishes.