News & Views

New Year Resolutions You Should Keep

We are all “so over” the New Year rush of resolutions.  Gym visits may be wavering, cooking from scratch has fallen foul of ready meals and the new life planner remains unopened…..

Why do we do it to ourselves?  – year in year out – set ourselves up for failure?

Well, let me help you tick two items off those lists that have probably been lurking there for a decade or more: –

  • Making a Will
  • Making lasting powers of attorney

We all know that it is a “must” to have these documents in place.  It is not just about money and assets but about making sure everything is settled and organised should you have a health crisis and/or die suddenly. There are many advantages to making a Will – there are none to not making one.  Even if the rules of intestacy (i.e. who the estate goes to where no Will exists), are fine for you, as you have a very simple family structure and are married to your partner, the steps for dealing with an estate where there is no Will are more complicated and consequently more costly.

Having executors appointed, as part of writing your Will, gives executors rights to take many of the necessary steps before a grant of probate is issued.  Whereas, if you do not have a Will and executors are not appointed, nothing much can be achieved until a grant of representation is applied for and issued.

Lasting powers of attorney are crucial documents for everybody.  You never know when a health crisis is going to hit and medical treatment is needed.  You may be so unwell that you cannot make decisions for you, your family or your business. Lasting powers of attorney can appoint attorneys for your personal affairs and separate attorneys for your business matters. If anything happens to you, someone immediately steps in so that there is a seamless protection of you, your family and business.  Compare this situation with no lasting powers of attorney being in place, when an application to the Court of Protection for Orders will need to be made to allow someone to act on your behalf before any progress can be made.  Having court registered lasting powers of attorney means the moment you need them to be used, they can be.  The last thing your family or colleagues need in this sort of crisis, is to spend months dealing with the Court of Protection to allow everything to carry on whilst you recover.

Many think powers of attorney are only relevant to the elderly but they are not.  The unexpected can happen to anyone of us, at any age so it is better to be prepared both in terms of costs and in reducing the stress and upset on your family, friends and colleagues.

It is time to get on with your Will and lasting power of attorney and just for the record, there is no scientific evidence to support the widely held belief that making a Will, will summon an early death! Having a Will and powers of attorney in place gives you the confidence that you have done everything you can to make it easy for the people who are nearest and dearest to you to manage things, should the worst happen.

Speak to our Wills, trusts and probate team and you will be able to cross out two items on that ever so long to-do list!

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