As the COVID-19 situation escalates, we have been working on ways to ensure we can still continue to meet all of our client’s legal needs during this difficult time.
From recent reports, it appears the social distancing measures are slowing the spread of the virus. It is therefore important that now, more than ever, we continue to band together in implementing these measures to protect ourselves and the community.
We have been using video conferencing technology, Zoom, to ensure we can still have ‘face to face meetings’ with clients, but not physically be in the same space. We have conducted numerous successful meetings since implementing Zoom and so far we have found that it is user-friendly, efficient and clear.
If videoconferencing is not something a client is familiar with, or they struggle to use technology, our IT staff will be available to assist with either putting the technology in place or answering any queries a client may have.
We realise that in some situations using the technology is just not possible, so in those cases, we will adjust to meet our client’s needs by taking instructions in other ways, such as via telephone or email.
We can still put in place any documents required by our clients, including important estate planning documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney and Guardianship Appointments.
As social distancing rules were causing issues with signing documents, new temporary regulations have been introduced in New South Wales so that video conferencing technology like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom may now be used in the witnessing of important legal documents like Wills and Powers of Attorney.
If you would like us to prepare your Will, you can complete our online form here for a no obligation quote to draft your Will according to your wishes. Please note we are using this form to collect information only, as we find it really is imperative to have individual conversations with each client about what their estate planning objectives are, as there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
We are also aware of the financial impact COVID-19 will have on some clients. For clients whose business or employment has been so affected, and so that they can still attend to their important documents, we will:
- reduce our fixed fees for simple estate planning documents by 15%;
- not charge for the first hour of client consultation; and
- give the option to pay fees over a period of time, on terms to be negotiated with each individual client.
Whilst the way we do business has changed, please know that we are still here if and when you need us.
Please everyone take care and stay safe.
Remote estate planning procedures
- Meetings can be held face-to-face with videoconferencing technology. All you need is a mobile phone or iPad or laptop computer.
- Such meetings can involve multiple people in multiple places at the same time.
- Assistance in setting up and using videoconferencing can be provided for no charge by our IT team if required.
- If preferred, meetings can be by a group telephone conversation, also involving multiple people in multiple places at the same time.
- Documents when prepared can be reviewed and discussed in a videoconference. If a telephone meeting is preferred, documents can be emailed or posted for review and discussion before execution.
- Documents can be executed online, or in paper form if preferred and a printer is available.
- If required, IT assistance is available for no charge to assist with online execution.
- Some documents, including documents executed by companies currently can’t be executed online but arrangements are being put in place for this to be allowed and alternatives will be discussed individually when needed.