People wearing masks and gloves in the street and queues outside banks, post offices and supermarkets, stretching back because of social distancing, are now the norm, and there is an extra dose of British patience and community spirit that will bring back memories for some of wartime England.
Many in our community are lonely and understandably anxious. These are challenging times for those who are vulnerable and find themselves in isolation for an unknown period of time, not seeing another person for weeks.
We have read much on the effect of this pandemic on mental health, as well as the danger to older people with underlying health problems.
KKL’s response has been one of reassurance and dependability. An important part of KKL’s work is pastoral care and we have used this time to connect with clients and reassure them that they are not forgotten. Prior to Pesach, many of our more vulnerable clients received a hand-delivered parcel of food essentials to help them celebrate the festival in some small way. In previous years, KKL has been able to host an interactive pre-Pesach seder for these clients.
Instead of visiting clients for a chat and a cup of tea, each one is being called on a regular basis by a member of our team to ensure they are managing, to offer help or simply to act as a shoulder to cry on.
Additionally, we have produced a special newsletter with interesting articles and puzzles to keep them busy. This is particularly welcomed by clients who have little or no access to the internet.
The current pandemic has seen a surge in demand for advice on will writing. Restrictions around social distancing and self-isolation have made it more challenging for practitioners. Many practitioners are sending out will questionnaires and arranging to meet via video conferencing to discuss matters in more detail before preparing documents for signature.
KKL is following guidelines on will preparation using independent solicitors (practitioners) to overcome some of the problems associated with the drafting and witnessing of wills. KKL is assisting those who recognise the importance of putting in place an up-to-date and valid will, notwithstanding the restrictions that are currently in force.
Carolyn Addleman is director of legacies at KKL Executor & Trustee
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