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Posts from May 2017

Each time I see a client to take instructions to draw up their will, I also talk to them about why a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is so important. An LPA is a legal document appointing people you trust to make decisions and act for you if you are unable to do so in the future. There are two types of LPA; 
 
Health and welfare - covering decisions regarding medical treatment and the care you receive and 
 
Property and Finance - covering everything from paying bills, opening and closing bank accounts and buying and selling property. 
 
Crucially, your decision to draw up an LPA must be done whilst you have good mental capacity. Many people choose not to draw up an LPA because they feel they are too young and healthy and can't foresee the need for one. Given the shocking statistics that 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 are suffering with dementia*, making an LPA early will ensure that someone you trust can manage your finances and healthcare as soon as you are unable to do so. 
 
If there is no LPA, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection to become a 'Deputy'. This can be an expensive and lengthy process at a time which will also be difficult for your family. Application fees are £400 each for Property & Finance and Health & Welfare, there care also be a £500 fee if a court hearing is needed plus annual fees of £320. Currently, the waiting time from making an application is between 4-6 months. 
 
Martin Lewis gave an interview on This Morning at the start of this year on the importance of making a will and LPA. Interestingly enough, the money expert confirmed that he has an LPA in place at the age of 42. https://youtu.be/7chQtUYtBLw 
 
Lasting Power of Attorney's were introduced in 2007, prior to this you would have had an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). EPAs are still valid if you drew one up before 2007, it would need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it could be used. 
 
If you would like to discuss making an LPA or will, we would be delighted to speak to you. 
 
Tel 079100 74611 
 
A phrase I often hear is: 
 
'We have chosen not to get married because a piece of paper won't change anything.' 
 
And I agree - in terms of their commitment to each other and how they feel about each other anyway. However, legally, that 'piece of paper' makes a huge difference if one partner passes away. 
 
With no will in place, the intestacy rules come into play and beneficiaries have already been decided. For an unmarried couple - the surviving partner is legally entitled to nothing. This can be challenged through the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 but there is no guarantee of success and it is, at best, a very lengthy process. Financial uncertainty at a time of emotional distress. 
 
A piece of paper which removes the uncertainty and unnecessary stress is a professionally drafted will. Making a will removes the need for a 'one size fits all' hierarchy of beneficiaries and puts the control back with the person who has worked hard to accumulate their assets. Making a will is making a choice. 
 
We work closely with Financial Advisers, Mortgage Brokers, Accountants and other professionals to offer a professional, affordable service to your clients in their own home at a time to suit them. 
 
Please call us on 079100 74611 to discuss how we can help your clients. 

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