Skip to content

I am dealing with an estate where the bank has sent me an indemnity to obtain the funds. Will the bank accept my signature without it being witnessed by my solicitor?

If you have obtained a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration there should be no need to complete an indemnity, merely an account closure form. If however you have not yet obtained a Grant but the bank is willing to release funds then they will generally require an indemnity to be executed. Several banks and building societies including Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and Santander have signed up to the British Banking Association’s voluntary Bereavement Principles, one of which is to support the bereaved according to their personal needs and work with you to resolve everything as quickly as possible.

If the indemnity requires a solicitor to act as a witness, you should contact the bank to see what they are willing to do to get around the problem, given the current situation.

Related FAQs

Understanding of the extent of the Covid-19 risk to BAME colleagues is evolving – what does that mean for NHS employers?

In practice this means that any risk assessment will need to be reviewed constantly and adjusted as our understanding of the nature and level of the risk grows.

Some service-providers are instigating special Oversight Groups to keep this issue under review but engagement and consultation with those affected is critical and making sure they feel confident to raise concerns and refuse to work if they believe they are not safe.

What can I do to make sure my home-working people are doing so safely?
  1. Keep in touch. If contact is poor, workers can feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can adversely affect stress levels and mental health – especially in the current crisis when everyone is feeling more anxious.
  2. Think about the use of laptops/devices (DSE) at home. Provide a basic form of risk assessment for self-completion.
  3. Remind workers of simple steps to reduce the risks from display screen work:
    • take regular breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or change activity
    • avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
    • get up and move or do stretching exercises
    • avoid eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time
Can I dismiss someone who refuses to wear PPE?

Potentially, yes. If someone refuses to follow the health and safety measures that have been put in place to protect them, colleagues and possibly their customers, including (where appropriate) the use of PPE then this is a disciplinary issue and should be dealt with as such. Repeated failure to comply with the requirement to follow these measures, or a one off significant failure, may be sufficient to justify dismissal, depending on the circumstances.

How has the law changed?

In part in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, legislation was passed by the government earlier this year which sought to assist companies to trade through the current economic climate. Included within the measures is a degree of protection from compulsory winding up.

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (The Act), was laid before parliament on 20 May, and became law on 26 June. It is important creditors are aware of what changes have been implemented and the potential and impact which it may have upon debt recovery action you may be considering or have already commenced.

The main part of the Act affecting creditors is the temporary restriction on presentation of winding up petitions and the factors that the Court has to take into account when deciding whether to wind up a company.

On Thursday 24 September 2020 the government passed a further statutory instrument which extended the operation of these restrictions. As a result, the measures which were due to expire on Wednesday 30 September 2020 have now been extended until 31 December 2020.

A key point to note is that the Act has retrospective effect so any pending petitions presented after 27 April will be affected, along with any winding up orders made after that date.

The Act has introduced the following restrictions:

  • A petition cannot be presented by a creditor during the period of 27 April 2020 and 31 December 2020 unless the creditor has reasonable grounds to believe that (a) coronavirus has not had a financial effect on the debtor, or (b) the debtor would have been unable to pay its debts even if coronavirus had not had a financial effect on the debtor;
  • A petition cannot be presented after 27 April 2020 if it is based on a unsatisfied statutory demand served between 1 March 2020 until 31 December 2020;
  • When deciding whether to make a winding up order the Court will need to be satisfied that the grounds giving rise to the petition would have arisen even if Covid-19 did not have a financial effect on the debtor;
  • All winding up orders made between the 27 April and 31 December will automatically be void (that is, of no legal effect) unless the Court would have made the winding up order if the new law was in force at the time the order was made.
What technology is being used by the COP for remote hearings?

Interestingly, there is currently no ‘single’ technology to be used by the judiciary within the protocol. The court and parties must choose from a selection of possible IT platforms or audio/telephone hearing (further details available in the guidance e.g. Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc.) The particular platform must be agreed at the outset of each case and then specified in the case management order. The guidance issued also sets out the basic principles which apply when conducting remote hearings.