Wills, Probate and LPA FAQs
Since Covid-19 spread more widely across the UK, 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, and answered them as best we can.
We will keep this page updated as and when anything changes.
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.
How can you write my Will without seeing me in person?
We will contact you by telephone to arrange a phone or Skype 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 will send you the final version of your Will (by email or post) and send you detailed instructions on how this can be executed. A telephone appointment or Skype call can be arranged at the time you are signing the Wills 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?
Instructions can be taken via a telephone/Skype appointment and 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, detailed 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 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.