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Legal News | 7.01.21

Lockdown 3.0 – spot the difference

As we head into our third national lockdown, there are many familiarities between this lockdown and the first national lockdown that started in March 2020.
However, in the legal world, there are a few key differences.

Signing a Will in lockdown?

In the first lockdown, existing legislation meant that in order for a Will to be validly executed, a testator had to sign their Will in the physical presence of two independent witnesses. Whilst this is still the preferred method, there have been significant updates. Updated legislation now recognises the limitations that lockdown, shielding and social distancing guidelines pose for those who wish to execute a Will and it is now possible, as a last resort, to sign your Will with the assistance of virtual witnesses who can act via video-link.

If you have been delaying making a Will or amending your existing Will, please be assured that Wansbroughs can assist you. We can offer meetings via Zoom or Skype and if absolutely necessary and appropriate, we can assist with witnessing Wills via video-link.

What about Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Unfortunately, legislation updates regarding the execution of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) have not been quite so radical. Whilst a certificate provider now has the ability to act over video-link, the document still requires the donor to sign the LPA in the physical presence of a witness.

Despite this, since the first national lockdown, the Office of the Public Guardian has launched its new online tool which allows donors and attorneys to let organisations (such as the donor’s bank) access to a summary of the LPA. This tool has its limitations, as the view is only a summary and is available only for LPAs registered since 17 July 2020.

If you do not already have an LPA, now is the perfect time to consider getting your affairs in order.

To find out more or if you require any further information or advice, please contact wealth@wansbroughs.com.

 

Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team

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