As solicitors, we find ourselves in the somewhat tricky situation of having to manage the restrictions of social distancing whilst complying with the law, which has not changed despite the current pandemic. We are all aware of the need to keep our distance and avoid contact with those outside our household, but the Wills Act of 1837 was not drafted with such restrictions in mind!
Many clients wish to make wills and appoint attorneys, and both processes require independent witnesses to the paperwork. Most have been able to find witnesses who can help, such as neighbours who remain in their own gardens and witness papers over the back fence, but there are some who need us to assist. This has proved challenging, but now that it is permitted to meet one person outside your household, our Taunton team have come up with the idea of a wills drive-through!
The clients drive into the car park, and we have witnesses at the office windows in full view. The clients sign the papers which are then passed through the open window for the witnesses to sign, obviously with care, hand sanitiser and handwashing.
We will continue to move with the times and adjust our services depending on the restrictions currently in place. A similar arrangement is also available at our Honiton office, both strictly by appointment only.