We surveyed thousands of individuals who have lost their friends, colleagues, dear ones, and relatives during the coronavirus period, to know the challenges they've faced.
At AasaanWill we offer services that make death easier to deal with like planning for your own death by writing a Will or Guardianship.
Even at the best of times, bereavement is difficult, troublesome, and expensive, with tasks ranging from getting the death Certificate, to chase down paperwork. So, to better understand how we can help you during the pandemic and beyond we performed the survey.
Here’s what we found out on speaking to thousands of people. Many folks are experiencing grief during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding the loss of life, as well as to drastic changes to daily routines and ways of life that usually bring us comfort and a sense of stability.
Lack of Proper Services and Communication
87% of the individuals we spoke to felt that death and sadness had been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Nearly 42% said that services and processes have been delayed or slowed down during this point in time.
With thousands of employees being terminated, communication has also been difficult. 32% said they struggled to get hold of the right people during the lockdown, and 39% said they had experienced difficulties with admin owing to furloughed staff.
Funeral Visitations and Services on Hold
In the current situations, where death is like a taboo, the unexpected grief process in such severe conditions of lockdown, confinement, lack of possibilities to stand by those who are dying in the hospitals or in the old age homes or to perform funeral rituals according to our faith, believes and traditions make the process tougher to handle.
When asked about the specific processes around death, 40% said they found it difficult to register the death due to lockdown restrictions, and 39% said that dealing with pensions, tax, and probate was almost impossible
We also asked individuals regarding their experiences in arranging funerals. 17% said that companies they needed to speak to were closed and 31% were told services are “on hold” for now.
Challenges’ on Will witnessing
As coronavirus spread, individuals started talking about death a lot and reflecting on their own lives. This led to lots deciding to make a Will, with 16% saying they started theirs because they know someone who died without one during the pandemic.
While the so-called formalities for the execution of a Will are not rigorous and can easily be complied with throughout ‘normal’ times, but during extraordinary situations such as these pandemics, testators are likely to face certain challenges in finishing them:
- Hiring a professional lawyer to assist in preparing a Will;
- Printing a type-written Will to sign it (wet ink signature needed as Indian Law does not recognize online signature for Wills), in the absence of ready access to a printer;
- Getting two witnesses to be physically present to witness the signing of the Will made by the Testator.
For some though, the process of witnessing Wills hasn’t been easy. 29% say they’ve struggled to find technical information on things like inheritance tax, and witnessing has been a drag.
A Will is no more legally valid until signed in wet ink and witnessed, so it’s extremely vital that individuals don’t push this off. To help find solutions around it, we at……………created a free guide on making a Will and getting it witnessed during the lockdown.
In India, People thought of having virtual or phone meetings rather than having in-person meetings with funeral home staff, cemetery staff, clergy and others to plan funeral arrangements. People here started to depend on technological funerals and attended last rites through zoom video calls.
As we’re a nation of diverse faiths and plenty of specific rituals when it comes to death and bereavement, so it was hard to say goodbye differently without feeling the last touch of the loved ones.
How we can Help You?
It’s important to note that the pandemic has impacted everything from funeral rituals to the admin around probate, to socialize the bereavement, and to our ability to grieve. So it’s important to take care of your mental health, and surprisingly 73% of urban Indians do not know about their rights to make a living Will
So we are here to talk about some of these issues, and we’re keen to hear more about your own experiences. If you’d like to share yours, please feel free to get in touch with us at AasaanWill. Zaroori Hai!