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Important Wills and Estate considerations with changing COVID-19 restrictions

Ilana Kacev

The Victorian Government has this week announced that Metropolitan Melbourne will enter into stage 4 lockdown and rural Victoria will enter into stage 3 lockdown.

Despite these new restrictions now meaning that law firms will need to close for onsite work for the next six weeks, our team is still able to advise you and is not limited in being able to service your needs whilst working remotely. We are available to assist you with your estate planning, Probate and Administration and estate disputes.

Wills

In the event that you would like to update or create a new Will, then we are capable of taking your instructions over email, over the phone or via video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or Face Time.

We are capable of advising on and preparing a Will and emailing it to you.

Thanks to the rollout of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Electronic Signing and Witnessing) Regulations 2020 (Regulations), Wills can now be signed and witnessed electronically over an audio visual platform.

This means that you can remain at home to sign your Will and both of the witnesses required to witness your Will can do so remotely.

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker

If you would like to update or create an Enduring Power of Attorney, appoint a Supportive Attorney or appoint a Medical Treatment Decision Maker, then we are capable of taking instructions remotely as above and emailing you advice and draft documents.

Like a Will, an Enduring Power of Attorney can also be signed electronically and witnessed through an audio visual platform.

Whilst the new regulations permit a Will and Enduring Power of Attorney from being signed and witnessed electronically, the Regulations do not cover the Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker. We can advise you on how to get this document signed.

Probate

The new Regulations also allow for affidavits to be sworn and witnessed electronically. The documents can be sent to you by DocuSign for electronic signing and then witnessed through an audio visual program such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or FaceTime.

Additionally, Probate applications went online as of 1 July 2020, meaning that we can file the signed application documents electronically.

How we can help

We can prepare all necessary forms electronically which can be emailed to our clients and sent on to various financial institutions. 

For any queries about your estate planning needs or advice regarding Probate or estate disputes, please contact Ilana Kacev for further advice.

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