Getting your Will done has never been easier, notwithstanding the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, says Attwood Marshall Lawyers Wills & Estates Partner, Angela Harry.
Why do people put off doing their Will?
At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Attwood Marshall Lawyers were inundated with enquiries from existing clients and members of the public all wanting to urgently change their Will or write their Will. The easing of restrictions has seen those levels of enquiry return to normal, but the fact remains that over 50% of the population either do not have a Will at all, or have not updated their Will for many years. While it was pleasing to see people getting their Wills done, or updating them, because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also unfortunate that it took a global pandemic to spur people into action to prioritise getting their Wills in order. Many people feel that they are somehow tempting fate by drafting their Will. The reality is everyone should have a Will no matter what their age, circumstance or health status is. It is something that many people put off doing, particularly if their family circumstances are complicated or there are difficult family issues that may come up during the Will-making process.
How Attwood Marshall Lawyers can help
At Attwood Marshall Lawyers we have one of the largest Wills & Estates departments in South East Queensland, which contains experienced lawyers, graduates and paralegals who practice exclusively in this area. We spend time to educate our lawyers about effectively communicating and connecting with our clients. This ensures that we can offer clients the best advice and assistance when coming to terms with the provisions of their Will and their overall estate planning strategy. Many clients are apprehensive about seeing a lawyer to do their Will and discuss estate planning for their families. We can confirm that all clients are very relieved and surprised at how relatively easy it is to have these complex and difficult issues dealt with.
Our goal is to guide you to help protect your assets and make sure that they end up with the people that you want them to. We can also help you plan your estate so that claims against the estate down the track are prevented, or minimised.
Beat the border-crossing nightmare
Although the Queensland and New South Wales border is about to re-open on July 10, the reality is that the closure of the Victorian border has made the crossing between NSW and QLD worse. This is due to border checkpoints carefully checking all vehicles to see if there are any people who have a Victorian connection. This has resulted in long waiting times and queues at checkpoints.
Our offices are conveniently located either side of the border at Kingscliff in northern New South Wales, at Coolangatta and Robina Town Centre in Queensland (as well as a Brisbane office). We have experienced staff at all offices ready to consult with clients concerning their Wills and estate planning needs. This enables any NSW residents to easily visit our Kingscliff office, and likewise for our QLD clients and customers to attend either our Coolangatta, Robina Town Centre or Brisbane offices. Most initial consultations are still carried out by telephone or video conferencing, but it is very important when dealing with these types of matters to see the clients face-to-face and provide appropriate advice in relation to their estate planning.
We can travel to you or have a video conference
In the event that people are unable to travel from their homes, nursing home or other venue due to health related or other reasons, an important change to the signing and witnessing of Wills has been brought in by both states to deal with current restrictions. The legislation provides that Wills can be signed and witnessed using video conferencing technology. We do not believe this is the best way to provide advice and have Wills and other important documents signed, but it is an available option should the circumstances require this. Our experienced staff regularly attend people’s homes, nursing homes and hospitals in order to sign important and urgent documents, such as Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney.
Never a better time to get your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney documents done
The upside of all of these changes and the convenient location of our offices means that there has never been a better time for you to “bite the bullet” and have your Will done or updated. Another very important and often overlooked document is an Enduring Power of Attorney. In some ways an Enduring Power of Attorney is more relevant than a Will because we are much more likely to contract an illness or suffer an injury which renders us incapable of physically signing documents, or we may lose our mental capacity either temporarily or permanently. It is very important that you have trusted attorneys appointed for you to step into your shoes in the event that you suffer some form of injury or illness which renders you mentally incapacitated.
For a complimentary 30-minute estate planning review with one of our dedicated Estate Planning lawyers, book your appointment by contacting Wills and Estates Department Manager, Donna Tolley, on direct line 07 5506 8241, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 621 071.
Read more of our latest blogs from the Wills & Estates team:
Appointing Guardians & Attorneys – by Emily Edmonds
Coronavirus fears drive people to get their Wills and Power of Attorneys done – by Angela Harry