Evelyn James, a Solicitor from JNP Legal Life Planning Team explores the importance of having a valid and up to date Will, particularly in the current unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in.

Life is precious, life can be cut short.

We are all learning this lesson at present, and there has never been a more important time to get our affairs in order.

There would be nothing worse for a family stricken with grief to discover that no plans were made for who was to look after their children, or no consideration of what would happen to their home and other assets.

Take control; make sure that control of your estate and your assets go to the right people.  Make your wishes and feelings known so your loved ones are not left guessing or quarrelling, or worst – forgotten.

Make sure you make a Will and keep that Will updated by reviewing it every few years or when your circumstances change. Consider also your family and friends’ circumstances, and whether any changes in their lives mean you need to revisit your Will.

It is of vital importance that you ensure any Will you have has been validly executed so that it is not open to challenge.

Why be tempted to draft your own Will, when it is a document of such huge and lasting importance, and when instructing us is fast and straight forward to do.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak, we continue to take instructions, prepare and assist our clients to execute their Wills on a daily basis.  We have adapted our usual process to ensure that this can be done without you needing to leave your home.

The law relating to the signing of a Will in the presence of two witnesses is currently under review given the challenges of the present situation but, as it stands, it cannot be done by video link and the two witnesses must be present with you when you sign.

The rules relating to social distancing can be respected if the Will is signed in an open space or you are behind a window so that your witnesses can see you sign.

If you are physically incapable of signing you can direct another to do so on your behalf, subject to there being no issues with mental capacity. Again, this must be done in the presence of 2 witnesses.

Our Life Planning Team at JNP Legal are here to help you at this difficult time and provide any advice and assistance you require.

Our Civil Litigation team are also on hand to assist with any cases where disputes arise regarding the validity of Wills, and Estate distribution.

If you need our assistance we are here to help you. Contact us for a no obligation discussion on 01685 350421, by email at law@jnplegal.org, or by direct messaging us on any of our social media platforms.