Legal Bulletin for UK Expats in Switzerland
Making an English Will in Lockdown
I am getting a lot of enquiries for English Wills and it is understandable. There are always triggers for making Wills and this current lockdown has become a trigger none of us anticipated.
Delaying drafting Wills at the moment is risky especially if someone is already unwell.
At the moment, the Law Society and the Ministry of Justice are exploring ways to facilitate the signing of Wills whilst adhering to the current lockdown rules.
The current rules state that Wills must be signed by the person signing the Will (the testator) in the presence of two completely independent witnesses.
This might be possible for some people if they have all already had Coronavirus and recovered, remembering to follow the guidelines of not more than 5 people in a group, which are the current rules in Switzerland at today’s date. But what about others?
One possibility that already exists within the 1837 Wills Act is a Privileged Will. This was created to allow members of the armed forces to quickly draw up a Will and if they are unable to comply with the rules as to the two witnesses. In this situation, they can legally either make a written or an oral Will and there is no requirement for any witnesses when it is signed.
At the time of writing, Will writing practitioners are waiting to hear whether Privileged Wills will be legally binding during this crisis. I will keep you updated as to any changes.
How Can I Help You Now
1. I can conduct meetings using Skype, Facetime or Whatsapp Video to take instructions for your Will.
2. When I have your instructions, I can send the draft Wills and an explanatory letter by email within a day or so, although this can be done more quickly if needed.
3. Any amendments can be made and amended drafts re-sent as many times as needed.
4. Final versions can be sent by e-mail with a Will Signing Checklist.
5. You will need two independent witnesses at the moment (this may change and I will keep you updated of any changes).
6. You and your two independent witnesses follow the Will Signing Checklist which is a step by step guide to signing to make sure that you are complying with the strict rules for signing Wills (at the current time).
7. You can scan or screenshot the signed Wills and the completed Will Signing Checklist to me and I can confirm that the Wills are valid. I can also lead a video meeting during a Will signing.
How Much Will This Cost?
The fees are always on a fixed fee for Wills and I can give you a firm fixed fee at the end of our phone call.
What To Do Next?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial phone call to talk about your unique situation.
Or check the website www.ewps.ch
Stay safe and stay at home.
26th March 2020 at 10am
Are you Protected for the Unexpected?
It is hard to imagine that we might lose our mental capacity in our lifetime, or what would happen to our financial affairs if we did.
Let’s look at the statistics…
There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. This figure is expected to rise to over 2 million in 30 years’ time, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
People are more aware of mental illness and appear to be worried about suffering from mental illnesses such as dementia, later in life.
Mental incapacity does not only affect older people; fans of contact or high adrenaline sports or activities can suffer brain injuries which might limit their ability to make financial or health decisions.
There is a way to plan ahead and ease the potential burden on your relatives should this happen to you.
To find out more, click here
Launch of English Wills and Probate Switzerland – EWPS
22 June 2015
The firm English Wills and Probate Switzerland – EWPS, has launched today.
EWPS is happy to help and advise UK expats living in Switzerland and France on legal matters such as, English Wills, Tax and Trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection issues, Probate and Estate Administration and Inheritance Claims.
Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.