Press Release: Will writers supporting clients through the Coronavirus pandemic

With all the uncertainty for businesses throughout Norfolk as the coronavirus pandemic continues, one award-winning Will Writing firm has adapted to enable them to continue to support their clients.

 Stuart Burrell, MD of Heritage Wills, based in Norwich said they have “embraced the new normal” in numerous ways including adapting their office to provide a safe space for witnessing will signings as well as thanking NHS frontline staff by providing free Wills.

One of the main challenges posed by social distancing for the industry has been the witnessing of Wills being signed. Once the Will has been drafted, the client then needs to get it signed and witnessed by two independent people.  Currently the law in England states that these witnesses must be present at the time of signing (also referred to as attestation). This has proved to be challenging during lockdown, but Heritage has been quick to offer solutions.

At their Norwich Head Office, the team have adapted their office space to create a safe environment for clients to sign their will & staff to witness it whilst adhering to the current social distancing measures.  The service – affectionately known by the Heritage team as the “Attestation Station” – has been greatly appreciated by clients.

Historically, Heritage offered free home visits to clients but social distancing meant they had to quickly rethink how to best to continue offering their bespoke service. “Our team of Consultants now offer free virtual appointments utilising technology such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime and Skype as well as telephone consultations which are all proving very popular with our clients.  Our phones, website live chat and social media have been very busy with requests for appointments from new clients as well as existing clients who want to review and update their existing Wills.” explained Stuart.

“As well as working to make the Will process as easy as possible for our clients, we also wanted to say a thank you to the NHS for their amazing work during the coronavirus pandemic.  That’s why we have extended our offer of a free standard Will to NHS frontline staff until the end of July.”

Free basic Will for NHS Frontline staff until end of July

We would like to thank all NHS frontline staff for everything you are doing during this difficult time.

To show our gratitude, we are offering NHS frontline staff a free basic Will from Heritage until the end of July.

Simply contact us & quote “Heritage NHS” to book your appointment with our Consultants (Limited appointments available)

Message from Stuart Burrell, Heritage Managing Director

Dear Valued client

Firstly, I hope that you, your family, and friends remain safe and well during these challenging times. While it remains unclear as to what the immediate future will bring, I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that Heritage have adapted the way we work to ensure we can continue to meet our commitments to our clients, whilst following Government guidelines at all times.

To ensure the health & safety of our community we have taken the decision to temporarily close both of our offices to visitors, with staff working from home.

Appointments

To ensure that we are able to provide you with the service you need, we are offering online meetings (using technology such as Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime & Messenger) as well as telephone appointments.  Due to the current situation we are working very hard to get your documents to you as soon as possible though may take up a little longer than usual.  We are also offering to send documents electronically, to be printed and signed in your home.

Document Storage

Many of you have your Will safely stored with us as part of our Client Care Package. You may be aware the Client Care Package also gives you an annual Will update at no extra cost, access to our Executor helpline, registration with Certainty – the National Will register and the opportunity to store other documents with us.  If you need to access any of these services please call us on 01603 894500.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney, it is important to ensure that it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) so that it becomes a legally binding document. If you have any questions about your Lasting Power of Attorney or wish to discuss setting one up, call us on 01603 894500.

And finally…

On a final note, I would to say a massive thank you for supporting Heritage. In these unsettling times, we value your custom and will continue to do all we can to provide you with the service you deserve.  

Take care and stay safe

Stuart Burrell, Heritage Managing Director

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

We are aware of the ever changing situation regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) and are taking our responsibilities to respond very seriously.

Heritage are closely following the Coronavirus guidelines set out by the government.  Our office remains open with all staff working hard to help limit the spread of the virus by regular cleaning, good hand hygiene and limited physical contact.

Appointments

We will be continuing with all appointments and home visits in line with current guidelines. 

For clients who have pre-existing medical conditions or are self-isolating, we can offer skype, facetime or telephone appointments.  If you have any concerns regarding an up and coming appointment please call us on 01603 894500.

We will continue to actively monitor this situation and update our customers and staff accordingly.

2020 Charity of the Year is announced

Heritage Will Writers is delighted to announce that Cruse Bereavement Care is their Charity of the Year for 2020. Their fundraising will be focused on the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire areas where the company has regional offices.

Heritage Will Writers Managing Director, Stuart Burrell said “We are really looking forward to working with the Cruse Bereavement Care Teams to support the great work they do.  It was really important that we work with a Charity that has Core Values aligned with our own and Cruse is a great fit with us.”

Norwich & Central Norfolk Cruse Bereavement Care Corporate Fundraiser Becky Bushell said “We are delighted that Heritage Will Writers has chosen Cruse Bereavement Care as their Charity of the Year for 2020 and we are really looking forward to how this special partnership develops over the coming months. Grief affects everyone at some point in their lives, and our team of trained volunteers are there to support those people who have been completely derailed by bereavement and are struggling to cope. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a fantastic, community focused, organisation who will help us to raise awareness of the work we do as well as raising much needed funds that will ensure we can continue to provide our vital services in the area.”

Cruse Bereavement Care is an independent organisation of committed people who care about and understand the needs associated with bereavement. Cruse is often the only place people have to turn to when someone has died and they offer sympathetic, compassionate and confidential support from selected, highly trained volunteers.

Heritage has been committed to supporting the local community for some time and last year they were Highly Commended in the Community Involvement Award at the British Wills & Probate Awards.  Upon receiving the Award, Stuart said “to be Highly Commended in the Community Involvement Award is really special because our whole team work hard to support local charities, causes and the local community wherever we can.”

Stuart continued “ We are part of the Norfolk WILL Help scheme, which enables residents to have a basic will written in return for a donation split equally between five local charities and launches again in February. Heritage Will Writers is also a  member of the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance and we are committed to helping make Norwich a Dementia Friendly city.”

“We are proud sponsors of Norwich Rugby Club which is a big part of the local community and brings together all types of people who have family and friends who play for or support the club.  This year we are also sponsoring the Grapes Hill Community Gardens in Norwich and are planning to host a fundraising event in the Gardens as a “thank you” to the local businesses and supporters we have worked with over the years.”

Support for Grapes Hill Community Garden

Heritage Will Writers is delighted to be the latest sponsor of the Grapes Hill Community Garden in Norwich.

The Garden is the brainchild of Fran Ellington who wanted to turn a rundown children’s playground into a beautiful garden. Work began in 2010 and now they grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers for the local community.

Heritage Will Writers Marketing Manager, Paul Rowlands said “ I recently visited the Gardens at a Norfolk Tweetup networking event. We wanted to show our support as it’s a real hidden gem in our beautiful City.”

The sponsorship is very timely as Heritage recently won Highly Commended for Community Involvement at the Wills & Probate Awards.  Their Finance Director Stuart Burrell said “to be Highly Commended in the Community Category is really special. Our whole team work hard to support local charities and the local community so this means a lot.”

Stuart continued “Since 2017 we’ve supported child bereavement charity, Nelson’s Journey, as our Charity of the Year. We’ve also been part of the Norfolk WILL Help scheme which supports 5 local charities. Norfolk WILL Help lets residents have a will written in return for a charity donation.  Heritage Will Writers are part of Norwich Dementia Action Alliance and committed to making Norwich a Dementia Friendly city. We’re also proud sponsors of Norwich Rugby Club. The club is a big part of the Norfolk community and brings people together who have family and friends who play for or support the club.”

As part of the sponsorship, Heritage are hosting an event in the Garden next year to thank their local supporters.

Heritage Will Writers finalists for regional Business of the Year Award

Heritage Will Writers has been announced as a finalist in the Medium Business of the Year Award at the prestigious Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards 2019

“We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as finalists for this prestigious award”, said the Heritage Will Writers MD, Kathy Long.  “Although our Head Office is in Norfolk, we cover all of East Anglia and this is a real recognition of the work that our Consultant John, and the whole team at Heritage does for our clients in the Huntingdonshire area.”

The dedicated Will Writing and Estate Planning provider has a well-established office in the beautiful market town of St Ives, Cambridgeshire. Their Estate Planning Consultant, John Grantham, offers free home visits to clients throughout Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.  John also runs free drop-in Will surgeries every Monday morning from his St Ives office, where people can have informal chats about all elements of Estate Planning.

The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards is now in its 22nd Year and celebrates achievements in business within Huntingdonshire.  The Medium Business Award that Heritage Will Writers has been shortlisted for, rewards companies “whose growth, ambition and quality of management has enabled it to deliver on a compelling business strategy.”

“It has been an amazing 12 months for us” continued Kathy. “In March we were named “Will Writing Organisation of the Year” at the National Paralegal Awards and have also been shortlisted for two awards at the British Wills and Probate Awards which are announced soon.  These awards are for Regional Will Writer of the Year (which we currently hold) and Community Involvement which would be amazing to win.”

Established in 2002, Heritage Will Writers are East Anglia and the South East’s leading dedicated Will writing service, serving tens of thousands of clients. In addition to writing Wills, the team offer a full probate service, a Client Care Package which includes secure document storage and can help with trust enquiries, Lasting Powers of Attorney and property ownership changes.

“It would mean so much if we are able to win the Hunts Post Business of the Year award and for it to have pride of place in our St Ives office” said Kathy.  “I would like to thank everyone who has sent us messages of support and, of course, a great big thank you to our wonderful staff, clients and supporters for helping us be recognised.”

The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business will once again be hosted at Burgess Hall, St Ives on the 1st November. Over 300 business personnel will come together to celebrate the best in business at the glittering awards ceremony, which will be hosted by ‘voice of the balls’ Alan Dedicoat.

Last ever Charity Golf Day at Royal Norwich Golf Course raises over £4,000

The historic Royal Norwich Golf Course in Hellesdon recently hosted its last ever Company golf day before it opened its new state of the art facility in Weston Longville on Tuesday 17 September.

The Company Golf day was held by East Anglia’s leading dedicated Will writing service, Heritage Will Writers and raised £4,375 for the Norfolk children’s bereavement charity, Nelson’s Journey.

Royal Norwich Golf Club General Manager, Phil Grace said “Events like this are incredibly important.  They don’t happen very regularly but they are part of the lifeblood of most clubs.  When you hold charity events, it gets members from other golf courses to come to your course and have a look round.  It raises really valuable funds, creates great camaraderie within the people that come to play and is great networking opportunity for golfers from all over to get to meet each other.”

Stuart Burrell, Heritage Will Writers Finance Director said “This was our third annual Heritage Golf day and it’s all in aid of raising funds for Nelson’s Journey.  We take our Corporate Social Responsibility very seriously and are delighted to have been recently shortlisted for a national “Community Involvement” Award.” 

In fact, Heritage Will Writers has been shortlisted for two awards – both the Regional Will Writing Firm of the Year and the Community Involvement Awards – at the upcoming British Wills & Probate Awards in October. 

Based in Hellesdon, Norwich, Heritage Will Writers has already had an amazing 12 months picking up two major industry Awards.  In October 2018 they were awarded “Regional Will Writers of the Year” at the inaugural British Wills and Probate Awards. 

This Regional Award was swiftly followed by another win in March 2019, when they were named “Will Writing Organisation of the Year” at the National Paralegal Awards with the judging panel saying “This business is impressive and has scaled. The entry contained a strong balance of  evidence in relation to qualifications, experience, scale, community and customer service.  An all-round excellent business.”

Stuart continued “Nelson’s Journey have been our Charity of the Year for the last couple of years during which time we have raised over £15,000 and counting.  They are a local charity, hold similar core values to ourselves, do a fantastic job and anything we can do to support them, we will. We are part of the annual Norfolk WILL Help scheme, which Nelson’s Journey enables Norfolk residents to have a basic Will written in return for a donation split equally between five local charities.”

“Heritage Will Writers are members of the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance and committed to helping make Norwich a Dementia Friendly city and proud sponsors of Norwich Rugby Club which is a big part of the local community and brings together all types of people who have family and friends who play for or support the club.” said Stuart.

Heritage Will Writers shortlisted for two major national awards.

Heritage Will Writers has been shortlisted for both the Regional Will Writing Firm of the Year and the Community Involvement Awards at the 2019 British Wills & Probate Awards.

Based in Hellesdon, Norwich, Heritage Will Writers has already had an amazing 12 months picking up two major industry Awards.  In October they were awarded “Regional Will Writers of the Year” at the inaugural British Wills and Probate Awards.  The Regional Award was swiftly followed by another win in March 2019, when they were named “Will Writing Organisation of the Year” at the National Paralegal Awards with the judging panel saying “This business is impressive and has scaled. The entry contained a strong balance of  evidence in relation to qualifications, experience, scale, community and customer service.  An all-round excellent business.”

 “We are all so excited and it is such an achievement to be shortlisted again – especially in two very different categories” said Heritage Will Writers Managing Director, Kathy Long on hearing the news. “To be in the running for the Community Involvement Award (as well as Will Writers of the Year) feels really special because our staff work hard as a team to support local charities, causes and the local community where we can.”

Kathy continued “Over the last two years, we have supported Norfolk’s leading child bereavement charity, Nelson’s Journey as our Charity of the Year. We have also been part of the Norfolk WILL Help scheme, which enables Norfolk residents to have a basic will written in return for a donation split equally between five local charities.  Heritage Will Writers are also part of the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance and committed to helping make Norwich a Dementia Friendly city.  As part of this commitment, our staff received Dementia awareness training and we also supported Dementia Action Week through our social media channels. 

“We are also proud sponsors of Norwich Rugby Club which is a big part of the local community and brings together all types of people who have family and friends who play for or support the club.”

The British Wills and Probate Awards were introduced in 2018 to highlight achievement and recognise the successes of those in the Wills and Probate sector.  Heritage Will Writers will learn if they have won at the prestigious Awards ceremony on 17 October at the Belfry Hotel in Birmingham, hosted by the Broadcaster and journalist Jennie Bond.

Established in 2002, Heritage Will Writers are East Anglia and the South East’s leading dedicated Will writing service, serving tens of thousands of clients. In addition to writing Wills, the team offer a full probate service, a Client Care Package which includes secure document storage and can help with trust enquiries, Lasting Powers of Attorney and property ownership changes.

“It would mean so much if we are able to come back to Norfolk with (hopefully) both of these Awards” said Kathy.  “We are so grateful to all of our wonderful staff, clients and supporters who have helped us achieve this and thank everyone for your kind words of support.”

Buying a House? Talk to us

Congratulations!   Buying a new home is an exciting time and inevitably leads you to think about what the future might hold for you. Often a house move is triggered by a change in circumstances – new partner; marriage; children; divorce; inheritance…the list is endless. And while you are thinking of the future, it is vital that your loved ones and your assets (including your new home) are protected if anything happens to you.

You can make sure that you have full peace of mind in the future by putting your wishes into a Will, which sets out what happens to your assets and your family in the event of your death. You might be reading this thinking ”I’m too young to need a Will” or “I’ve already had a Will drawn up years ago” or “I don’t need to worry, it will all be taken care of by my family.”

If any of these thoughts are running through your head and you don’t think you need a Will, here are some facts that might make you think again:

  • If you have children, the courts may decide who will look after them in the event of your death
  • If you have recently got married, any previous Will you had is automatically invalid
  • If you are not married, your partner will not necessarily receive any of your estate nor automatically gain guardianship of any children
  • Your lovely new property may not be left to your immediate family in the event of your death
  • If you die without a Will, someone else will decide how to distribute your assets and in some cases, they could go to the state

Getting a Will

Thought provoking, isn’t it? So how do you go about getting a Will?  The perception used to be that getting a Will organised is expensive, complicated or just a bit morbid – Well, thankfully it is none of those things.  For example, Heritage Will Writers offer face-to-face appointments throughout East Anglia for their clients – either at our offices or at the clients home.  If you live further afield, we can offer telephone appointments to run through all your wishes and make sure the Will provides you with complete peace of mind.  We are passionate about helping simplify some of the complex issues so that having a Will is accessible and understandable for everyone.

Choosing a dedicated Will Writer means that you are dealing with a company that is an expert in their field and will be able to tailor your Will to your exact wishes and ensure the document is as unique as you are, rather than just completing a standard template.  It is important that you choose a Will Writing company that is a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW) and has staff members that are STEP qualified so you know that your Will is going to be legally correct.  There are other elements to consider when arranging your Will including Lasting Powers of Attorney which is simply choosing someone you trust to make decisions for you if you become physically or mentally incapable of making these decisions in the future.  You will also want to choose a Will Writer that can help with protecting your property, probate (the practicalities of carrying out the instructions in your Will) and even offering a secure place for your Will to be stored. Heritage Will Writers offer all of this, and have won regional and national Awards for our service so you know you are in safe hands.

To arrange your new Will or update your existing one, contact us today