When Is Too Late

Published on Apr 20, 2020 by Vanessa Fielding on probate wills

Don’t leave it too late

Often people don’t think about making a Will as they are still (relatively) young, let alone a Power of Attorney.  This year’s events have focused many people’s minds.

Since the lockdown there has been no change to the rules requiring a Will to have 2 witnesses, who may not be beneficiaries or their spouses.  They must all sign in each other’s presence.  For people who are self-isolating this has been difficult.  We have made every effort to accommodate people, signing wills through windows, with gloves and masks or in their cars but sadly we have not been able to help every client who has wanted to make a Will. 

Sometimes staff in care homes and in hospitals are not allowed to witness documents which leaves people with no options as the law stands.

Lasting Powers of Attorney have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.   There is a period of 8 weeks before they can be registered to give anyone who may object to the registration a chance to do so.  Unfortunately due to the current situation they have fewer staff in their offices and it has been taking longer than usual.  There is no way to expedite matters.  Whilst the waiting period can be an important protection it can cause difficulties when there is an urgent matter to deal with, whether financial or health and welfare related. 

Whilst we are in unprecedented times, the moral of the story remains to get your affairs in good order while you are able to.  Here at CGM Solicitors we are able to see clients with no symptoms in the offices where we can practice social distancing.  Alternatively if you prefer we can arrange appointments by video such as Zoom or Microsoft teams.  We are open for business and will do all we can to accommodate you.