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Planning for the Future During Covid-19: Why and how

26.05.20

At the time of writing, the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed how we live and these changes present a number of challenges for us all.  The restrictions we face and the risk to our health is causing an enormous amount of uncertainty and worry for families of all shapes and sizes.

Over the past two months we have spoken to a number of families who have been torn between carrying on with their plans to prepare for their child’s future or putting things on hold. Some families have used this time to start the process of looking into the steps they can take to plan for the future.

We have been able to support and advise them all as effectively as before and enable them to make the right decisions for their situation.  In fact, as I will explain in this blog, we have been able to provide our services even more effectively than before.

Why it’s important not to delay

We understand that many parents and carers feel daunted at the prospect of setting up a Will and Trust at the best of times. These feelings may be even stronger currently, where there may be concerns over household finances, when face to face meetings to obtain advice are not possible and with the daily juggle of work/family/school etc.

However now, perhaps more than ever given the threat Coronavirus poses to public health, it is vitally important for parents to have the right plans in place. Not having a Will, or having an out of date Will, could result in your child inheriting some or all of your estate which then needs to be managed for them.  Leaving an inheritance directly to a person with a disability or vulnerability could have a significant detrimental effect on their benefits and support package, and potentially increase their vulnerability to financial abuse.

The only way to protect your child, should the worst happen and you are not there to support them, is to put in place a Will and Trust. As well as safeguarding their financial future, taking these steps now also ensures that your personal wishes for them can be documented and implemented.

But you may be wondering how you can go about putting in place important plans like this in the middle of the current crisis.

How planning can be done now

Our team of specialist lawyers are able to support families in a number of ways at this time and, despite not being able to meet in person, we are able to explain the process for putting Wills and Trusts in place.

Technology has proven to be a great enabler, helping friends and families see and support each other through the challenges of lockdown. The same is true for us as we have been able to use technology, such as Zoom and Skype, to speak to families and support them in the same way as before.  In fact, it has actually been easier for some families to meet in this way as there are no problems with taking time to travel to a meeting and no need to put arrangements in place for child care during this time.

We are able to arrange a virtual meeting with you to talk through your situation and provide you with the advice about your options to protect your child.  For those who prefer to do so, phone calls and emails are also suitable for discussing your plans and we can use email to provide all our information and advice in writing.

One of the biggest concerns for families is how to get documents completed, particularly if they are shielding and have minimal or no contact with others.  This can cause particular problems with signing documents.  Whilst the rules haven’t yet been changed to accept electronic signing of many legal documents, we can help with making sure documents are signed correctly whilst observing safety guidance.  For example, a witness can observe the signing process through a window and, in some situations, we can be available virtually to check that everything is done correctly.

Whilst these problems may not be easy to overcome, we can work with you to prevent these being a barrier to putting your plans in place.

Taking the first step

Our specialist team can guide you through the process, supporting you every step of the way. We understand that you will have many questions and we help you to understand your options and what the best first steps are you. As we have seen, current circumstances needn’t be a reason for delay, and for many families it might be the ideal time to put plans for the future in place.

Contact us for a discussion about your personal circumstances.

Planning for the Future Guide

Our newly launched free guide for families has been designed to help you understand the issues you may face in the future, and what can be put in place to protect your disabled or vulnerable child.
Sign up here: https://www.renaissancelegal.co.uk/planning-for-the-future-email-guide/

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