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1st April, 2020
We are aware that during these uncertain times, some clients may have an urgent need or wish to put in place legal documents such as Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, to ensure their affairs are in order. It is important to us that we continue to service the needs of our clients. However, we recognise that we must safeguard the health and welfare of our staff and partners, while also minimising risks to our clients.
Therefore, when taking new instructions to put in place Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and other legal documents, or when making arrangements for the signing of such documents, we will take account of the following:
1. Where possible, meetings will take place via Zoom, Skype, Face Time or other remote video technology. Clients will be given full instructions as to how to access such video conferencing facilities.
2. Where remote meetings are not feasible, it may be possible to take instructions by telephone and/or dealing with the matter by email and/or post.
3. In the current situation, we are unable to offer face-to-face meetings for the purposes of taking instructions. We will monitor the position as we move forward and any change in our policy will be notified by a change to these operating arrangements.
4. In some cases, we understand that it will not be possible for us to proceed without a face-to-face meeting. This might be where we need to check a client’s capacity, there is a possible risk of undue influence, or there is potential scope for a Will being challenged at a later date. In those circumstances, clients should decide whether to postpone their matter until a face to face meeting can take place.
1. Where possible, documents will be posted out to clients with full signing instructions. Where a client wishes, a meeting using remote technology can be arranged to guide them through the signing procedure although we will be unable to take part in that process as a witness or other signatory.
2. Where a client has an urgent/emergency need or wish for a face to face meeting to sign their documents, we will seek to make those arrangements where possible. However, we would be unable to attend a face-to-face meeting in the following circumstances:
a. Where government guidance or regulations prevent this; and/or
b. Any other situations where we feel the health and safety of our staff and partners could be at risk.
3. In the event we are unable to attend a face-to-face meeting, the lawyer acting for the client will discuss the options available with them.