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Posts from January 2019

How can you be certain that your children will receive an inheritance if you die before your spouse and they remarry? 
 
This is a real concern for many people I speak to. Nowadays there are many different types of families, following separations and divorces resulting in a more complex family situation. 
 
If you make traditional mirror wills, leaving everything to your spouse and an agreement that on second death, everything will pass to your children, how can you be sure that if you die first and your spouse remarries, your children will get any inheritance? On marriage, or in this case, re-marriage, the will is invalidated and a new will would be needed. What if your spouse set up a similar arrangement to yours and left everything to their new spouse, on the understanding that on their death everything would then go to the children. If your spouse died first, there would be nothing to stop the new spouse from changing their will altogether, cutting your children out completely. 
Whenever I talk to clients about making a will, I always talk to them about why they also need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Certainly, during your lifetime, an LPA is far more useful to you and your family than your will. 
 
Your will, and your wishes contained in your will, only take effect when you die. So this leaves a big gap - if during your lifetime you lose mental capacity what happens to decisions about your health and welfare and ensures all of your bills are paid? 
 
An LPA is a legal document which allows you to appoint people you trust to act for you if you lose mental capacity. Most importantly YOU choose who will be able to make decisions and you are able to set out how you would like decisions to be made. Until you lose mental capacity you will continue to make decisions as you have always done. 

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