8 out of 10 people in the UK have no Will when they die meaning they have no control over who receives their money, property or possessions (estate).
Why make a Will?
- If you die without a valid will you are classed as dying intestate and certain rules dictate how your estate should be distributed. This may not correspond with how you thought or wanted your estate to be divided. Your estate may even go to people that you haven’t been in contact with for some time or even people that you have never met.
- Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other unless there is a valid will in place; the death of a partner may therefore create serious financial issues for the remaining partner.
- If you have children who are still minors then guardianship and financial arrangements for the children need to be made in the event either one or both parents die.
- It may be possible to reduce the amount of tax payable on your estate if advice is taken in advance and when a will is made.
- It may be necessary to protect potential beneficiaries who may be vulnerable or in receipt of benefits to ensure that their entitlement to means tested benefits is not reduced or lost completely.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which allows you to appoint individuals to manage your affairs in the event you are no longer able to manage them yourself.
There are 2 types of LPA – one which deals with your Property and Affairs and one that deals with your Health and Welfare. You can choose to make one type or both but you must be 18 or over and have mental capacity to make one.
Once the LPA has been registered your Attorneys will then be able to act on your behalf in the event you become incapable of managing your own affairs through accident or illness.
Without a registered LPA, should you lose capacity to manage your own affairs, no one has the authority to deal with matters for you – not even your spouse or partner. An application to the Court of Protection would be required to appoint a Deputy and this can be costly and time consuming and may lead to family members having to financially support you in the interim.
Have Peace of Mind!
Our Wills and Estate Planning team at Hilary Meredith Solicitors can help you plan for the future making the process stress free and leaving you with peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after when you are no longer here.
For more advice on our Wills service contact us online or call our experts now on 0800 124 4444