As Australians grapple to deal with the changes to our world forced on us by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is natural for us to want to check that we have our affairs in order. It is no different to the last minute scramble that many people engage in before they leave the country on an extended holiday. What holidaymakers often discover is that they have never made a Will or they last looked at their Will 30 years ago when their children were very small.
That leads to a hasty call to their lawyer and a rush to finalise a Will as quickly as possible. The difference with the pandemic; aside from the general lack of excitement and joy, is working out how the necessary social distancing fits with a meeting in a law office. Even worse, how do you manage this if you are forced to self-isolate. Technology helps with this of course as meetings can take place by telephone or video conferencing and draft documents can be shared and corrected by email.
But, one of the legal requirements for a valid will is that it be signed and witnessed. How can you do this without sitting in a room with other people? The good news is that the Courts have recognised a range of documents or things with words on them to be valid Wills including:
- An egg shell;
- A tractor fender;
- A petticoat hem;
- Graffiti on a wall;
- A poem;
- An unsent text message.
We do not recommend that you use any of the more alternative methods as there are risks associated with them but we can help you to finalise a Will without needing to meet with us. If you would like assistance with your Will please contact Rebecca Edwards.
If you would like to read about how we are continuing to support our clients during the pandemic please click here.