It likely isn’t news to you that the world around us is rapidly changing at present. That’s the thing with our world – it always is. There are many paths our life may offer us, but only we have the power to choose which to travel. Our focus is ensuring that you have every opportunity – no matter which stage of life – to have peace of mind in knowing your wishes will be carried out if something were to happen to you. We continue to stride forward as a Team and will ensure your Estate Planning is up to date.
We understand that you may be wondering about how a Will can be finalised in the current environment.
KEY TAKE OUTS:
- It is possible to have your Will drafted and finalised despite isolation.
When it comes to drafting your Will, the importance is in the finer details. This may seem a cliché or perhaps throw-away comment. However, many do not realise the legal requirements which must form part of your Will for it to be valid or to ensure your specific wishes are ‘water-tight’. These legal requirements come hand in hand with specialised drafting and a broader understanding of how assets can be dealt with under your Will.
As your world changes, our world changes. The ‘new age’ of legal services is quickly taking effect as many offices have begun rolling out new procedures and protocols. The important thing to note is that your Will is of key importance to us, as ever it should be for you.
Our Team continue to make ourselves available to you and have implemented new ways to ensure that the quality of care you have previously received can transcend any boundaries. We are available to have telephone appointments as usual. However, with the implementation of video conferencing we continue to maintain our face-to-face appointments, albeit through the computer screen. In a sense this change has brought us closer together as it is always more pleasant to put a face to a voice/name.
This all said, the question then follows – “how do I finalise my Will if I am unable to attend your office?” For a Will to be valid, it must be signed by the testator (will maker) in the presence of two independent witnesses. If you are unable to attend our office there are numerous ways we can ensure that your wishes are still recorded.
- Once you approve of your draft, your final Will can be sent to your home with clear instructions on how to make sure it is validly signed; or
- We can take your instructions, send you the finalised Will and arrange a video conference to watch you sign your Will at home alone. Although not ideal, this avenue would mean that your Will becomes a temporary informal will until you are able to sign your will in the presence of two independent witnesses. According to the law in New South Wales, the Court may still find that this informal will is valid as you have expressed your testamentary intentions and finalised the document with a view to properly finalising it when the time becomes available.
The Law Society NSW is continuing discussion with the NSW Department of Justice on how we can make the signing of your Will easier to achieve (perhaps through video conference or by having one independent witness). Although, these laws have been in place for many, many years and so the push to change may be an uphill battle.
Coutts will continue to keep you updated and we will look to implementing an easier way for you to finalise your Will the moment any legislative changes come about.
As the old saying goes – “where there is a Will there is a way”! With our Teams specialised skill set, we will ensure your estate planning overcomes environmental hurdles, such that are the world we are living and working in today.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE O’CONNOR:
Charlotte is passionate about all things Wills & Estate Planning. She believes that having your estate planning in order creates a greater sense of peace of mind. This peace of mind drives Charlotte as she feels a sense of pride in affording people the power to have their wishes met.
Charlotte ensures that your affairs are dealt with in an empathetic and comprehensive manner. Charlotte’s warmth and friendly nature enable her clients to feel at ease – particularly in the ‘new age’ of legal services where her openness is able to transcend video conferencing and telephone appointments.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:
This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.