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Coronavirus and Powers of Attorney

Coronavirus and Powers of Attorney

Now more than ever, we should be asking the question: “are my affairs in order?”

In these uncertain times, it is prudent planning to consider putting a Will and Power of Attorney in place. A Will, of course, allows you to state what you wish to happen to your assets upon your death and provides your family with some comfort in knowing your affairs will be in order upon your death. A Power of Attorney, on the other hand, allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf should you become incapable of attending to your own affairs - whether that be because of a long term illness, a sudden event such as a stroke or simply old age.

During this current Coronavirus pandemic, we at TC Young are still here to help you put these important documents in place. Our usual ways of working may have changed but our willingness to assist you has not. In view of that, please do not hesitate to contact us about your Will and Power of Attorney and we would be happy to discuss the process with you.

The emergence of the pandemic has forced firms to consider how best to conduct client meetings and take instructions in the absence of face-to-face meetings. So if you want to make a Power of Attorney and can’t physically meet with your solicitor, what can you do?

The usual process for making a Power of Attorney is for a solicitor to meet with a client and interview them to ensure that they have the relevant capacity to grant a Power of Attorney. However, during this unprecedented time, the Law Society of Scotland has issued guidance as to the steps which require to be undertaken when meetings are just not possible and here at TC Young, we have adapted our usual ways of working in order to provide practical solutions for clients.

We are able to take your instructions via telephone, email or FaceTime and, thereafter, would provide you with a draft of your Power of Attorney document. As meetings and home visits are not currently possible, we would then arrange a video or FaceTime call with you in order to interview you and for you to demonstrate to us that your Power of Attorney has not yet been signed. If we are satisfied that you have the relevant capacity, you would then sign your Power of Attorney during the video or FaceTime call and also have someone present to witness your signature and complete their details. Thereafter, you would send the signed Power of Attorney to us for a solicitor to complete the certificate attached at the back of the Power of Attorney document. This, of course, differs from the usual process where you would sign your Power of Attorney during a meeting with your solicitor. However, this new process still allows for us to provide you with the service you require.

It is also important to note that Will instructions can be taken in the same way as those for Powers of Attorney. We can take your instructions via telephone, email or Facetime etc. A draft can then be provided to you and arrangements for signing can be by a variety of technological means dependent on individual circumstances.

The pandemic, whilst providing significant challenges, is no barrier to having your affairs put in order. Please do contact us should you wish to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to help.

Written by : Super User

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