Wills, Probate and LPA FAQs
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Barcan+Kirby’s Private Client team have been asked various questions around life planning. We have picked out some of the questions our solicitors are frequently being asked about Wills, Probate and Powers of Attorney, and answered them as best we can.
We will keep this page updated as and when anything changes. Last updated 12th January 2021.
How quickly can you write a Will for me?
Wills are usually prepared within 7-14 days of agreed instructions and money paid on account. If there is a need to have the will prepared in a shorter time frame then this can be discussed with you initially.
You can now start your Will from the comfort of your own home, using our new online tool. Find out more and get started here.
Can I come into the office for an appointment?
As a result of lockdown restrictions being reinforced, our offices will be closed to the public as of 6th January 2021.
We only offering appointments in our offices if it is absolutely necessary. We have a policy in place to ensure we are taking all the necessary precautions to keep you and our staff safe.
If you wish to make an appointment, please call us on 0117 325 2929 and we can discuss your requirements in more detail.
How can you write my Will if I cannot visit an office?
One of our Will Writers will contact you by telephone to arrange a phone or Skype/Zoom appointment (the latter is preferable if you have this facility). Instructions will be taken and you will then receive an email confirming our terms and fees. Once this has been accepted and monies paid on account by bank transfer, we will prepare a draft Will for your approval.
If you do not have access to an email, the documents will be posted to you.
How can I get my Will witnessed?
We can send you the final version of your Will (by email or post) with detailed instructions on how this can be executed. Will signings should be carried observing social distancing guidelines.
If you are unable to find suitable witnesses, we can arrange a socially distanced appointment for you with members of our team.
A telephone appointment can be arranged at the time you are signing the Will and we will talk you through the formalities, if preferred.
You hold my loved one’s Will, how can I get it?
In the event of death of a client, we will need to see the death certificate in order to obtain the Will. We will endeavour to obtain a copy of the Will as soon as possible, so that we can provide information regarding any expression of funeral wishes.
The copy can be released and if the original Will is required, this can be posted by recorded delivery to those named as executors or elsewhere, as long as the authority is provided by the executors. As our Wills are stored off site, the original Will is not immediately available.
A family member has died from coronavirus, what do I need to do?
You can contact us by telephone or email, and we will talk you through the initial steps you need to take when a loved one has died. This will largely involve taking steps to register the death and register for the ‘Tell us Once’ service, as well as making the necessary funeral arrangements.
How quickly can you set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
We can prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney and once it has been signed by all parties, it will be lodged with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). LPAs will continue to take 40 working days to register, although the OPG have warned that this time frame could be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Depending upon your circumstances, it may be advisable to have a limited General Power of Attorney put in place if you want attorneys to start acting upon our behalf immediately.
What is involved in setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney during this time?
You can make an appointment to come in and see us or instructions can be taken via a telephone/Skype appointment. An email/letter of engagement will be sent thereafter. Documents in respect of your identification and address will be required, and we will advise you how to do this when arranging an appointment.
If we have any concerns regarding a person’s mental capacity to provide instructions by those means, then an agent can be instructed to carry out a mental capacity assessment. Those agents will charge a fee to carry out an assessment.
Once our terms are agreed and draft documents have been approved, instructions will be provided for original documents to be signed and witnessed. A telephone or Skype appointment can be arranged to help with this process if required. Once signed and witnessed, the documents can be returned to us and we will arrange for them to be registered at the OPG. If we are acting as Certificate Providers, then we will arrange a socially distanced appointment.
If you would like to discuss your personal circumstances – whether to do with your own Will, or the Will of someone else – you can call us on 0117 325 2929 or complete our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will get back to you.