Coffin Mew introduces video calling for clients

Posted on: March 24th, 2020

As we all adapt to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and home working for those who can, we have thought about how we can continue to provide you with our services. Following government guidance, nearly all of our teams are working from home with very limited numbers in the office to deal with urgent post. However, we are still here and want to provide existing and new clients with services such as Will drafting and creating powers of attorney.

We have found that video calls are the most effective means of talking to our clients about the services they need. This is because being able to see you as we take instructions helps us to fulfil many of the obligations upon us that ensure the work we do for you is effective. It also means that we can show you documents and where you need to sign, and have found that it also helps to foster a better flow of conversation. We understand that not everyone has access to the necessary technology however, and so we are happy to try telephone appointments too.

We are tending to use Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp video calls, but if you have an alternative system that you are used to, please let us know and we’ll be happy to try it. Our Partner and Head of the Court of Protection and Wills Trusts & Probate teams, Annabelle Vaughan, recorded this video from her home to show you how easy it is to keep in touch with us, even while we might not be in our offices.

When we speak to you to set up an appointment, we will work with you to decide the best method to use. Depending on the service you require, we may send you a questionnaire before the meeting to collect some of the information that we will need to complete the work you ask us to do.

We will then draft the documents and send it to you, preferably by email. Once you have had a chance to read through the documents, we will of course be happy to have a conversation to explain anything that isn’t clear or consider any amendments you would like to make.

Once you are happy with the documents we will send them to you for signing. Again, we hope to be able to send as many documents by email as possible. We will also send you signing instructions, but we understand that with social distancing measures, this is more challenging due to the ongoing need for witnesses to signatures. We, along with other lawyers, have asked the government to review this requirement during the pandemic but in the meantime we would suggest asking your neighbours if they can assist.

The requirement for witnessing documents is that the witness is ‘in the line of sight’ of the person signing the document. Therefore, we believe it is possible to have a document witnessed whilst observing social distancing guidelines. Whilst there is some uncertainty about whether COVID-19 can transmit on surfaces, we would also recommend that each party uses a different pen and takes care whilst handling the document.

We hope that by using these methods, we can continue to provide our clients with a good service whilst taking the necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 whilst we work.

For more information or to book a video call with a member of the team, please fill in the enquiry form.