CORONAVIRUS UPDATE APRIL 2021

A message to our clients:

With the recent move to allow shops and offices to fully re-open, we will continue to review our policy on clients attending our offices. Currently, we are not inviting clients into the office but we are able to briefly meet with clients by appointment at the door of the office. Please note that face coverings are still required indoors until further notice. We remain committed to following the Government guidelines as rules continue to change in line with the easing of lockdown.

We continue to operate our business as usual across all the services that we offer our clients, both current and prospective.

We continue to offer teleconference-based or telephone consultations.. We are aware that not everyone has been offered full vaccination yet and understand that some people may feel safer continuing with socially distanced communications.

Our family and wills / probate solicitors continue to offer initial advice remotely by video conferencing and by telephone for up to one hour (as advertised on this website). Please call us if you would like to speak to one of our experts.

If you have a case in court, please telephone us so we can discuss representation.

We appreciate your patience, support and understanding over the past year since the restrictions related to the pandemic began. We hope you continue to stay safe, and wish you a brighter 2021!

Talk to a solicitor today 0117 973 1391

21st April 2020

Since we went into lockdown in March, we have seen huge changes in the way we live our lives and it is likely these changes will not return to “normal” for a long time yet. Society is working together as a whole by staying at home (for those who can) to protect our NHS and save lives.  Battrick Clark Solicitors recognises the importance of supporting our community through these challenging times. Many of the people wishing to access Will writing services as well as other Private Client services at this time will be among the elderly and more vulnerable members of our community and we will do our best to protect these members of society whilst offering the support they require.

Our office at Battrick Clark in Bristol is open to all our new and current clients and we are following government guidelines with social distancing and working from home.  If you would like to make a will, we ask that you call or email to make an appointment.  We are able to take instructions from clients via telephone, Skype and Zoom instead of face to face meetings. Drafts can still be sent via email or via post. We can send you a questionnaire to help you think about any questions you might want to ask or help to ascertain the information required for the will in advance. Once approved and agreed, final copies can be sent to you for signature.

Social distancing can make it difficult to find witnesses to wills. The Wills Act 1837 states that to be valid, a will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses which means that the will maker and the two witnesses are present together. The crisis has pushed people to be creative in their arrangements. For example, wills can be witnessed by neighbours/solicitors through a window or from the garden gate as long as all three are present together and can see each other sign. The witnesses then add their signatures, names and address in case they need to be contacted later to prove the signing of the will. Everyone would need to use their own pen and wash their hands after touching the will. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our clients and staff and  ‘Wills through a Window’ is a way our clients can have peace of mind that they have a valid Will in place but also that they are not putting themselves at risk.

The Ministry of Justice and the Law Society are pushing the government to pass emergency laws to relax the witnessing rules for wills. Government ministers have still not decided which option to put before Parliament – or whether to change the law at all.  Soldiers on active service have long been able to make a will without witnesses and the law may be changed quickly to extend this privilege to all. Current laws around the signing of wills have been in place since 1837, and it is unclear whether new legislation would be revoked once the coronavirus crisis is over.

We are here for you…. Battrick Clark Solicitors are highly experienced in drafting wills and are member of the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS).  We have accredited and associate members of Solicitors for the Elderly who can guide you through the process of making a will at these difficult times.

If you have any questions or would like an appointment, please get in touch on 0117 973 1391 or email info@battrickclark.co.uk.