It is not a shock to anyone that COVID-19 has disrupted a lot of our daily lives and normal ways of doing things. This article will look at how our Estate Planning Team at Coleman Greig Lawyers is still getting things done despite the barriers and constant changes in today’s society.
For a lot of the work that our Estate Planning team do, it requires meeting with people face to face, particularly elderly clients, to sign original documents. This means that our team have had to come up with innovative ways to overcome the impracticalities that COVID-19 has thrown our way and get around these barriers.
One of the ways our team has been doing this is by invoking the electronic witnessing regulations that have been implemented as a result of COVID-19 in as many situations as possible. These new regulations have allowed, for the first time, documents such as Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Enduring Guardians to be signed and witnessed over real-time audio-visual link. We have been utilising software such as Zoom, FaceTime and Microsoft Teams to enable us to meet with clients and sign documents.
For urgent matters, and in line with NSW Health Regulations and Guidelines, we have also been visiting clients in their homes, hospitals, and aged care facilities to get documents prepared and signed as soon as possible.
Recently, one of our senior lawyers had a client who was in hospital with very little prospects of surviving through the night. Our senior lawyer met with the client via audio-visual link at her hospital bedside to get her Will signed before she passed away that night. Although the hospital did not let our lawyer in due to their lockdown and their restrictions, our lawyer was able to navigate this and come up with a solution to ensure her client was seen. Our lawyer worked with the hospital staff to get the meeting set up and established so that the documents could be signed, and the client assured that her affairs were in order.
Our team are committed to prioritising client service and ensuring our clients, whether urgent or not, are given options and alternatives to ensure things can carry on and matters can be finalised.
So, although we are currently in a lockdown and our daily lives greatly restricted, our Estate Planning team are just as easily able to assist you with preparing and finalising your estate planning as ever before.
Now more than ever it is becoming more apparent not to leave these documents to last minute, otherwise it can cause unnecessary stress and pressure on your families and friends to help you get things done before it is too late.
To get your Estate Planning in order before it is too late, reach out to our Estate Planning Team who will be able to give you the best client service despite the current difficult circumstances.