IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

Laura Whitely, a Solictor in our Private Client team shares her take on how Covid-19 has affected her and the services her team deliver.

As we enter another week of having to deal with Covid-19, many of us are now reflecting on the recent past, missing the “normality” of being able to go to the shops, see family and friends and even just go for a walk without having to don a mask, gloves and maintain a distance of at least 2 metres.

As horrid an experience the current lockdown situation , there is two things that has come from this pandemic that I am thankful for.

Firstly, it has most definitely made me appreciate how precious time with friends and family is.

Sadly my great-aunt passed away in April and although we were able to attend some form of a funeral, it was heart breaking not being able to touch my family or give my grandma (my great-aunt’s sister) a huge hug. Prior to lockdown, I did generally see my family at least once a fortnight but as a “hugger” the 2 metre rule has made me miss them- our weekly Zoom calls just aren’t the same!

Secondly, the lockdown has made me more aware and involved in our wonderful local community.

Every day, my Husband and I now go for our daily walk instead of the gym. During this time, we have meet and pass the same people and, in true Yorkshire style, greet them warmly. There is then one house we pass where there is an older lady who sits in her window looking out to the world. We do not know this lady but each day we wave at each other and smile. For some people, this may be that person’s only contact with the outside world and it is heart-warming to think that such a small act can bring at least a little bit of joy in these peculiar times.

Also like many communities, prior to lockdown, my neighbours and I were already on friendly terms, always stopping for a brief hello as we passed in the street. However, as many of my neighbours are classed as “vulnerable”, I along with other neighbours and family have assisted in purchasing essential items for them when completing our own shopping. This is something that I know is happening all over the country (and the world) and just shows how communities are and can support each other.

Lockdown has highlighted the usefulness of powers of attorney, documents which appoint people that you trust to look after your affairs and enable them to use your accounts to purchase food on your behalf and pay bills etc. They also allow those people to talk to third party organisations, such as carers, the DWP or the bank on your behalf if you don’t want to or are not able to do so yourself.

Also, if the worst was to happen, do you have a Will to confirm what you want to happen to your property, money and personal items, and to your children in the event that they are under the age of 18? Without a Will, the rules of intestacy would take effect and may mean estranged family members benefit as opposed to those nearest and dearest to you.

Although lockdown does mean offices are generally shut, our Private Client team are still working hard to give advice and support to both new and existing clients. If you have any queries about what we can do to help during these strange times, including preparing and amending Wills and Powers of Attorneys, please do contact us on 01484 821 500 or email infor@ramsdens.co.uk.