We are still open and operating and wanting your business and support. We are just needing to change our methods of communications until it is safe to return to office appointments.
COVID infection protections for you:.
- For the last 9 months we have been seeing our clients via telephone or video appointments rather than face to face appointments.
- signing of documents, swearing of affidavits and collection of documents still occurred but in a controlled minimal contact environment in the foyer of our building which we separately santinised for each client.
- If any of our staff or their close family developed a sore throat or cold they went home and were tested and did not to return until they received a negative result.
- most of the staff have their own offices.
Given the zero COVID cases in Victoria in November and December 2020 it was hoped that we could recommence client office appointments in 2021. The last week of December 2020 showed how fragile the situation was and what a lack of vigilance could cause. How a traveller, guest or friend to our area may unknowingly be infected with COVID and due to a lack of precautionary behaviour cause a close contact situation.
We are going to continue for the next 3 – 6 months to deliver our services via telephone appointments and minimal contact as much as possible. We will review this if the situation changes. You can request special consideration for a face to face appointment.
The feedback from our clients to the new style appointments has been:- “Extremely satisfied”, “Why haven’t we done this before” and “Fully supportive”. A lot of clients would start the appointment stating that this not going to work but by the end were comfortable, talkative and satisfied it did. It has also created some beneficial side effects:
- We can have an appointment with with someone in Warragul and Geelong at the same time on a conference call and avoid the need for either to have to spend time and money to travel to attend for a 30-40 minute appointment.
- We can have a probate affidavit sworn by someone in Cairns via a special video zoom conference rather than the time and expense of having to send the document via post to a solicitor in Cairns who would then have to take their affidavit.
- Court mediations have continued to occur via video conferences which has meant a client in Perth has been able to attend from there without having the cost in time and money to travel and potentially quarantine before returning home.
- Speaking to someone with a face mask on is difficult on the breathing, more uncomfortable and harder to hear than being able to talk freely over the phone or via zoom.
Wills and Powers of Attorney. There is the telephone appointment, a draft sent out and a further discussion confirming instructions before arranging a set time for execution of the documents. For the signing of the documents we have developed a minimal contact system to protect you. You attend our office at a prearranged time, the building will be unlocked to allow your entry. We have a table in the foyer of the building sterilized and wiped clean with a pen and the document waiting for you. We watch you sign the document and you then through glass watch us sign the document in your presence. A properly signed and valid document has occurred. We can then take your payment with minimal contacts and provide copies for you or send via email.
Verhoeven & Curtain consists of the solicitors Michael Curtain, John Verhoeven and Robert Kiddell (Consultant).
Its solicitors, files and deeds relate back to the firms of Michael J Ryan & Co, Ryan Verhoeven & Horseman, Rennick Verhoeven and Delburn Lawyers.