The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many clients to consider their estate planning requirements. However, with social distancing requirements and many people self isolating, it can be difficult to have these documents finalised.
Recently, the Supreme Court of Queensland has issued a practice direction (10 of 2020) in response to the requirement of witnessing wills. For a registrar to dispense with the requirement of a witness to physically be in the presence of a testator, satisfactory evidence must be produced that;
- That the will was drafted by a solicitor, or a solicitor is one of the witnesses to the will, or the person supervising the execution of the will;
- That the deceased intended the documents to take immediate effect as their will, alteration to their will, or full or partial revocation of their will;
- That the testator executed the document
* In the presence of two witnesses being in the presence of the testator by way of video conference but not physically; or
* In the presence of one witness being in the present of the testator by way of video conference but not physically.
- That the witness or witnesses were able to identify the document executed; and
- That the reason why the testator was unable to execute the will in the physical presence of two witnesses was because of either government enforced or recommended, or self-imposed, isolation or quarantine arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
This direction applies to Wills executed between 1 March 2020 – 30 September 2020.
During this time, Piccardi Legal can assist you with your wills, power of attorney and other estate planning documents by;
- Taking your instructions by telephone or Zoom meeting;
- Preparing your documents so that they are ready to sign;
- If you wish to sign in our office, we can accommodate following strict social distancing;
- If you wish to sign your documents at home, we can provided you with instructions on how to sign;
- We can also facilitate a “drive-in” service where we will witness your Will whilst you remain in your car.
We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone and we are tailoring our services for our clients affected by Covid-19. If you would like to discuss your estate plan contact us here.