Everyone should consider making a will for the simple reason that a will makes clear what should happen to your property after you die and enables you to arrange your affairs as you wish. Without a will the law sets out how your property and assets are distributed and that may not be what you wanted.
It is a mistake to assume that everything will automatically pass to your partner, wife/husband or children on your death. In many cases, if you die without a will this will simply NOT happen. It is therefore important that everyone who cares about what happens to their assets after they die makes a will.
A will is particularly important for those whose affairs are more complicated, such as unmarried couples, people with children from previous relationships, business owners and those with higher value estates where Inheritance Tax may be a consideration.
In addition to arranging how your property is to be disposed of, your will appoints executors to administer your estate and can appoint guardians if you have young children.
You may want to create a trust to provide for young children or someone with a disability or simply to safeguard your assets in some way after you die.
One of our solicitors or consultants will meet with you to discuss your requirements and then prepare a competitively priced will to give effect to your wishes. We can also advise you on potential liability to Inheritance Tax and possible ways to reduce the liability.
Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone you trust (an attorney) to make decisions on your behalf and/or manage your property and affairs when you no longer wish to do so or lack the necessary mental capacity to deal with them.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
Property and Financial Affairs
This enables you to appoint someone to manage or deal with your property or financial affairs or a particular aspect of them.
Health and Welfare
This enables you to appoint someone to make decisions relating to your healthcare or welfare, such as whether to consent to a particular type of treatment or healthcare, or whether you should receive care in your home or move into residential accommodation.
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be made while you have the mental capacity to do so and before it can be used the power must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once made and registered a Property & Financial Affairs power can be used at any time whether you have capacity to act for yourself or not. A Health & Welfare power cannot be used until it has been both registered and you lose the capacity to make health and welfare decisions yourself.
We are happy to advise upon and prepare the appropriate power for you and to deal with registration.
We can also offer advice and assistance in those instances where a person lacks the mental capacity to make a Power of Attorney. In such cases it will often be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed to deal with that person’s affairs.