None of us like to think about dying but, in these worrying times of the coronavirus pandemic, making a will as soon as you can is a very sensible move. Now more than ever, we should all be securing the long-term future of our loved ones.
You might, however, be thinking that creating a will in lockdown is impossible. You’ll be pleased to know you can think again. With expert legal support and advice, making a will is surprisingly easy right now, even in isolation.
Here are six tips on creating a will in lockdown:
- Act now! Making a will ensures you have control over how your estate – which is the entirety of your money and property at the time of your death – will be distributed. If you die without a will (‘intestate’), legal rules of intestacy dictate what happens to your estate, not you. The people you love might not receive the assets you have worked so hard all your life to secure. Imagine the emotional distress and financial hardship you might cause your family and friends if you fail to make a will. Do you really want to take that risk?
- Use a virtual service. You can arrange a will online from the comfort of your home.
The best place to start is right here – https://www.legacydirect.co.uk/online-will-service/
- Just call. A qualified expert will be able to take your instructions over the telephone.
- Make sure your will is signed correctly. To be legally valid, your will must be signed by you in front of two witnesses (both over 18 years of age), who must then sign the will themselves in your presence. In this time of social distancing, a little creativity might be needed to meet these requirements. We’re therefore seeing people sign wills outside (on car bonnets, for example) or witnessing the signing of a will through a window. You’ll find a great story about signing a will, and lots more legal advice about making a will in lockdown, on our new podcast:
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Without professional support, you might easily make a mistake that (heartbreakingly) invalidates your will, meaning your wishes will not be met. So please resist the temptation to use that old do-it-yourself will kit you found in a drawer when you were tidying your house during lockdown.
- Find appropriate help for your needs. You might, for example, want to engage a member of ‘Solicitors for the Elderly’, a specialist group of lawyers particularly skilled
in supporting older and more vulnerable members of society.