The 23rd March 2021 marks the first anniversary in which the UK went in to a national lockdown to begin its fightback against the coronavirus.
It’s a year that many of us would like to forget. There has been lots of uncertainty, juggling working from home, homeschooling and for some taking those tentative steps back into the office.
As a result of the pandemic and because people are spending more time at home, and with the threat of what’s going on around them, it seems people have begun to take the steps needed to document their final wishes and have measures such as Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) in place to ensure the right actions can be taken as and when needed.
Whilst we know practitioners have been busy, it may come as a surprise that data released by the IRN revealed that the coronavirus only encouraged 4% of people (whom they surveyed) to make a Will.
Arguably, the pandemic has helped the legal sector embrace technology, at a quicker pace than it would ordinarily do.
In July, the Ministry of Justice announced that the video witnessing of wills would be made legal, although practitioners took a cautionary approach to this move, with many only using the change in legislation as a last resort.
Video calls have helped practitioners to take instructions from clients and provide them with the virtual face-to-face interaction that many craved, and covid-safety steps were taken to ensure that when Wills were being witnessed that everyone was safe – these were done in the open on car bonnets, through windows.
As their appears to be light on the horizon, the spotlight that has seemingly been shone on estate planning has had a positive effect, and one that will hopefully continue for a long time.