Covid-19 Getting your affairs in order.Apr 8, 2020 10:17:13 AM
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a very strong reminder that anyone over the age of 18 should have a Will. We recommend you review your current Will to ensure it reflects your current wishes. If you don’t have a Will you should make one.
If you have been married since signing your last Will you should check your Will was made in contemplation of your marriage. If not, by law, it will no longer be valid.
Conversely if you have been through a separation or divorce and not reviewed your Will, you should do that now.
There are strict legal requirements for a Will, it must be in writing and the Will maker’s signature must be witnessed by two people who are not named in the Will. The signing of a Will must be completed with the Will maker and both witnesses together in each other’s presence.
Contact Vicki Andrews, Ashleigh Lumby, Paul Bollen and Brodie Andrews to discuss on 1300 327 826.
Powers of Attorney
In times of uncertainty as to ones affairs a general and/or an Enduring Power of Attorney can become an invaluable document to assist your business and affairs continue as usual. Powers of Attorney allow ones affairs to be managed promptly with continuity in situations of ill health, absence, accident or loss of mental capacity.
If you lose capacity without an Enduring Power of Attorney in place it will take a more expensive and timely Court Application process before your affairs can be managed.
Please review your existing Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney
We are moving into a period of increased social distancing, with more people in self-isolation or choosing to work remotely while business continues as usual. Naturally questions will arise as to how business can be completed in those circumstances for example signing documents.
You can still enter contracts and sign most legal documents
The Coronavirus is changing the way we go about our business, but importantly, you can still enter contracts and sign most legal documents without having to use pen and paper.
As we move more into the digital age the execution of documents is occurring by electronic signature (E-Signing) as opposed to the old “wet” signature approach.
This is a more secure way of entering an agreement using digital signatures (eSignatures). A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that uses a specific technical implementation. This method is not suitable if you’re signing the document and it must be witnessed. At East Coast we use Docusign for the electronic signature process.
The Office of State Revenue Purchaser Declaration forms and PEXA (e-conveyancing client authorisation) forms can also be completed with Docusign.
Attendance at our offices may still occur but, you no longer have to, if you cannot or don’t wish to. A popular way to interact with us is via a zoom conference, where you can still see and hear us.
Wills require witnesses, as do Enduring Powers of Attorney
These documents must be witnessed which can create issues depending on the extent of social distancing as a result of the spread of the Coronavirus. In some situations, it may not be possible to comply with this requirement
If you, or someone you know, was to find themselves in this situation, they should endeavour to finalise the Will as best they can, making sure their intentions are set out clearly and they sign the document if at all possible.
We can take instructions, prepare the Will and email it with an explanation as to how to have it properly executed if you can find two independent witnesses over 18 AND not named in the Will. If you cannot access suitable witnesses, we can “witness” you sign the Will by way of FaceTime or Zoom conference and prepare file notes in relation to same.
When the current crisis is over we can meet with you to formalise the Will. It is not a perfect solution, but these are not perfect times.
A similar approach may be taken with an Enduring Power of Attorney (one which survives loss of mental capacity).
Please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 327 826 or send us an email at any time should you have questions.
We are OPEN for business as usual
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, we want to assure you that we are still open for business and are well equipped to deal with your legal matter.Return to Blog