Covid-19

We have compiled a list of our frequently asked questions relating to many aspects of our services and how the Covid-19 virus may impact your matter.

Conveyancing FAQs

Can I move house during the restrictions?

This depends upon a number of circumstances. The government guidance is that where possible house moves should be delayed until the restrictions are lifted. However there are circumstances when moves can continue, for example if the move is essential for a key worker or if the property is empty and therefore the risks of contamination are minimal. Please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.

I am in a chain. Can we still complete?

This depends on the situation of the full chain. Some solicitors are simply refusing to complete any transactions during this period and therefore if one of these solicitors forms part of your chain then the chain will either collapse or more likely simply be put on hold until the restrictions are lifted.

My mortgage offer is due to expire. Can it be extended?

The government has asked lenders to agree to extend mortgage offers for another 3 months. You should contact your individual lender to establish whether this can be agreed in your case.

 

Wills, LPA and Contentious Probate FAQs

Can I still make a Will during the Covid-19 restrictions?

Yes. We are able to speak to you on the phone or by way of video link to talk you through the process and to find out what you would like to say in your Will. We are then able to send you documents by email or by post and will guide you through the process and agree the best way forward for you to sign the Will and have it witnessed so that it is legally valid.

I am self-isolating. Can I still make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Yes. As with Wills, we are able to speak to you on the phone or via video link and will talk you through the process. We will prepare the Lasting Power of Attorney documents for you, and communicate with you by email or by post and work with you to arrange signing of the documents in a way that is safe for you and our staff.

My loved one has passed away can you still help me?

Yes. Whilst we are working remotely we are still able to offer a full service to Executors and Administrators. Our lawyers will speak to you by phone or video link and guide you through the process and the steps needed. We can take care of all legal paperwork for you including applying for the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration, liaising with banks and everyone else involved. The Probate Registry and financial institutions are still working, albeit at a slightly slower pace, and we have all the technology needed to assist you at this difficult time.

My loved one has died and I cannot find the Will can you help?

During the restrictions, whilst you may not be able to look for a Will yourself, we are able to assist. We can contact local solicitors who may have prepared a Will and undertake a Certainty Will search for any registered Will. If a Will cannot be located we can advise you on the Intestacy Rules which may apply and the steps needed. If you are able to find a copy Will, we can advise you on a potential application to rely on that copy Will if the original cannot be located.

What is happening about my court hearing?

Cases in the Business, Property and Trusts Courts are being dealt with on an individual basis. Some are being adjourned whilst others are being held by phone or skype. We will keep in contact with the courts to find out what is happening for you. The Court of Protection in Leeds is deciding on a weekly basis how cases will be heard but most are to be held by phone or skype.

 

Family Law and Mediation FAQs

One of my family members is symptomatic. Should I let my child go to their other parent?

This has to be a personal decision based on each family’s individual circumstances. The guidance of the court is clear in that the current restrictions do not mean children who live in two homes should generally be stopped from doing that, but if the child or a member of either family is vulnerable then this may be a reason to suspend or alter the arrangements and provided the reasons are clear and sensible the courts should not subsequently criticise the parent for making those decisions if agreement cannot be reached.

Can my divorce continue during the restrictions?

Yes. We are now using the court’s online system for divorce which means traditional paperwork is not necessarily required which enables us to deal quite easily with the process. In relation to finances, the courts are putting in place arrangements for hearings to be dealt with on the telephone or video links which is now working more effectively. We also have a fully working case management system which means we can easily communicate via email and paper files are not being relied upon.

Is mediation available during the restrictions?

Yes. We have the facilities to conduct mediations via video link. In practice this works well because people are forced to listen to the other person more effectively as we agree a process of muting the person who is not speaking. We are also now able to sign off forms electronically where mediation is assessed as unsuitable so that court applications can be made promptly where necessary.