Estate Planning – COVID 19 and Video Witnessing

07 APR 2020

 

Marsdens Law Group has been committed to servicing the legal needs of the Macarthur community for more than 50 years.  As we have always done, Marsdens is committed to continuing this service during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 [NSW] currently allows, as a reasonable excuse for movement to be “undertaking legal obligations”. This means that you are still free to attend appointments with your solicitor to arrange for legal matters to be dealt with. Marsdens are ensuring that our clients’ and staffs’ wellbeing, from both a legal and health perspective, is at the forefront of all activities.

The current legislation is being reviewed to allow for Wills, Powers of Attorney, Appointment of Enduring Guardians and Affidavits to be signed via video conference. At this stage, it is unclear precisely when those changes will be enacted, however we are in almost daily contact with the NSW Law Society regarding any and all updates.

The approval of the amendments to the legislation will mean that video witnessing is a valid way to execute legal documents. As a result, we will be able to take instructions from you via telephone and then facilitate the execution of your legal documents via a video conference using applications such as Zoom and Facetime – applications which are freely available and easy to use.

This will mean that although you may not physically attend our office to have your Will, Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardians signed and witnessed, these documents will still be legally valid.

In relation to administering the Estate of a loved one who has passed away, the effect will be similar. We will attend to preparation of all the necessary documents and provide them to you for execution via a video conference.

Of course, we are still able to facilitate face-to-face appointments whilst adhering to all health advice. We are also aware that clients may feel more comfortable with finalising their legal documents, whether it be for their own Will or in signing an application for a Grant of Probate, from their own home without having to come into contact with anyone during this COVID-19 health crisis.

To discuss your Estate queries, please contact our Estate Planning Department on 02 4626 5077 or via email at kwolthers@marsdens.net.au.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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