Wills & Lasting Powers of Attorney
We understand here at pro-law that thinking, talking and planning for death can be an uncomfortable experience. However not leaving a will in place can create additional work and expense and may leave your affairs in limbo for years. Moreover, not leaving a will may mean that people you wish to leave money to do not receive anything or people you don’t wish to leave money to do receive it. It is of course possible to write a Will yourself, but this can be quite a risky task especially if your estate is large or complicated.
That’s why we spend as much time is needed to consider personal circumstances and wishes to create the right will for you to ensure its legally valid and all options are considered.
There are many different factors as to why a Will is an important document to have in place including the following:
- Provide stability for children. If you have children or step-children who are under 18 years of age, then you are able to choose who will look after them and ensure there are appropriate funds and in place for this
- The law does not recognise unmarried couples therefore if there is no Will in place it will not automatically go to your partner
- Remarriage cancels any existing will that is in place and the possibility of more complicated family arrangements means consideration of new wills a necessity.
- Can provide provision for your children if you get re-married
- If you have any pets your will can let you plan who will care for them.
- If you have a specific request for what you would like at your funeral, then this can also be set out in the Will, so your family do not have to make the decisions whilst grieving;
- If you are a sole director of a company and you pass away without executors, there will be no person in place to authorise payments (this includes to your staff members) which could cause the business to collapse.
- You may want to consider a ‘living will’, otherwise known as an ‘advance medical directive’.
- Keeping my will safe. Please click here for more information of our storage services.
- It is important to have a Will in place, as it means you have a say on what happens to your money, welfare property and possessions after your death and for peace of mind provide protection for your children and loved ones.
- Financial Planning. It ensures that you do not pay more Inheritance Tax than needed when the time comes to pay this.
- Express your own wishes about your funeral arrangements and how you would like your estate to be distributed after you pass away. You may prefer for a professional to deal with this. Please click here for more information on our probate and administration services.
- By not having a will means it is up to the rules of intestacy to decide who receives your estate and how much which may cause family disputes or friction.
Often clients also wish to draw up a Lasting power of attorney at the same time of making a will. This ensures that there are people who can manage your affairs in your best interests if you lost the capacity to do so yourself.
As people are living longer, it is advised to consider this.
Here at pro-law we are also available just as a Will checking service or as a full Will writing service. Please click here to see our full range of Will services.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney’s were created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and were put into effect on the 1st October 2007 and allow people to plan ahead for a time when they may lack mental capacity.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a very important legal document which (as the donor) you officially appoint one or more persons (called the attorneys) whom you have great trust in, to make some decisions in your best interests on your behalf if in the future if were unable to due to illness or accident.
In order to make a Lasting Power of Attorney you must be age 18 or over and be deemed to have the ability to make your own decisions (known as having mental capacity). However, mental capacity is decision specific, which means you may be deemed to have mental capacity for some decisions and not others.
If you do not leave any legal plans in place, such as an LPA, then a deputyship application is required to the Court of Protection which are expensive, time confusing and stressful. Therefore, we suggest planning ahead to ensure your wishes around your financial affairs and management of your health and welfare are in place to avoid this.
Even if you think you may have left it too late, this may not be the case and we will be able to advise you on your individual situation.
There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare
Property and Financial Affairs.
- where the attorney/s is/are given power for decisions regarding any property or money which you may have. This could include the following:
- managing a bank or building society account,
- paying any bills,
- collecting your benefits or pension and
- selling your home.
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can be put into practice as soon as it has been registered, providing you have given permission for this.
Health and Welfare and Property and Financial.
Within a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney your chosen attorney/s can make decisions regarding things such as;
- your daily routine (i.e. washing, dressing, eating),
- your medical care,
- Be involved with assessments for provision of community care services
- Making complaints on your behalf about your care or treatment
- Where you should live and who you should live with – moving into a care home
- any life sustaining treatment you may need and
- Rights of access to your personal information
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can be registered straight away but can only be put into practice when you are unable to make your own decisions (deemed to lack mental capacity).
There may become a time in your future when you are unable to make decisions for yourself and therefore someone will need to do this for you. You can officially appoint someone whom you have great trust in to make decisions in your best interests for you. Even if you think you may have left it too late, this may not be the case and we will be able to advise you on your individual circumstances.
Often clients also wish to draw up a Will and consider probate and the administration of their estate at the same time of making a Lasting power of Attorney. Please click here for our prices.