As Martin Lewis has previously mentioned in his television programme, it is important to have a conversation with loved ones about difficult subjects such as death and incapacity. Whilst no one likes to think about these situations, it is important to be prepared by having a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
A Will is a legal document that records what happens to your money and property when you die.
You can include the following in your Will:-
- The appointment of Executors who will be responsible for carrying out the wishes in your Will
- The appointment of guardians for children under 18
- Any funeral wishes
- Any gifts of specific items or money to individuals or charity
- How you wish to divide the remainder of your money and property between loved ones
If you do not have a Will then your Estate will be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules, which won’t necessarily be your wishes. It can be costly and more complicated for those you leave behind. The Intestacy Rules also do not cater for unmarried couples or step-children.
Wills are also useful for asset protection if care fees are a concern to you in the future. It is also beneficial in situations where you have children with additional needs who would struggle with receiving a large sum of money.
Once you have signed your Will, it is important to keep it up to date, for example if you divorce and then remarry, your Will is revoked on marriage or if a beneficiary named in your Will has died.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables you to plan ahead and sets out what you would like to happen should you become unable to make decisions in the future. All age groups over 18 should consider putting in place these documents.
There are two types of LPA – property and financial affairs and health and welfare.
- A property and financial affairs LPA gives your attorney(s) the authority to deal with your property and finances when you choose and/or lack mental capacity
- A health and welfare LPA allows your attorney(s) to make health and care decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity to do it yourself. This could include giving or refusing consent to the continuing of life sustaining treatment
Please contact our Wills and Estate Planning Team on 01256 320555 and we would be happy to assist you.