Write your future
Making a Will ensures that when you die, your estate is dealt with according to your wishes. It is all too easy to keep putting it off and most people do, but it is so important to take a little bit of time now to effectively plan for the future. Nobody wants their loved ones left with a legacy of stress and upset, family fallouts, unaffordable funeral expenses and an inheritance tax bill.
Your Will helps to make sure that:
• Your money goes to the people you want it to, this is especially important for unmarried couples and people with step-children
• The people that you want and trust are appointed as executors to sort out your affairs after you die
• You minimise the inheritance tax liability
• The legal guardians for any children who are still minors, are of your choosing rather than a court
• The changing relationships in your life are accurately reflected after marriage, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren
• Gifts of personal items are left to the right people
• Suitable trusts are set up and gifts made to charity
If you do not make a Will, the law will divide your estate according to the rules of intestacy. These rules are very rigid and may not reflect what you would like to happen or what is most tax efficient.
Lasting Power of Attorney
As we live longer, the incidence of strokes, dementia and loss of mental capacity is becoming more prevalent. We all hope to live to a ripe old age without facing these issues, however, if you do experience any of these, it can be without warning and will be a stressful time for you and your family. This is where Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) can help, and they are possibly more important than a Will, as they help you during your lifetime, if necessary. LPAs enable you to nominate people to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to, or act for you if you are hospitalised or immobile. There are two types of LPA: one for financial matters and one for health and welfare decisions.
Think of LPAs like insurance; you may never need them, but if you do, and you don’t have them, the consequences can be pretty dreadful. Without an LPA, if you lose mental capacity to make decisions, somebody would need to apply to court, which is a lengthy, expensive and intrusive process for your loved ones to undertake.
The future can be written.