The importance of preparing a will and lasting power of attorney
There seems to be a misconception by a significant percentage of the population that preparing a will or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is only to be considered when you are very ill or very elderly.
As a legal practitioner preparing wills and LPAs, it is a very common scenario to see elderly parents being brought into the office by their well-meaning children to prepare a will or power of attorney when they no longer have sufficient capacity.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are documents which enable one or more people (usually family) to manage your affairs at your direction, or if you are not able to make decisions, for yourself. Importantly, these documents are utilised when you are still here. It is crucial that these plans are put in place before any problems arise, as if you do not have sufficient mental capacity, whether temporary or permanent, then you cannot make a power of attorney.
Once an LPA is in place both you and your family can have peace of mind that you have the relevant legal protections in place if they are needed. A little forward planning now can save a lot of distress in the future. LPAs cover important issues such as the payment of bills, where you should live if you are unable to stay at your home and also end of life care.
In regards to making a will, the implications of not having one are numerous. If you have views about where you would like your estate to go and who to benefit (and most of us do) then a will is essential. Formalising this now and having a will drawn up could save your family a lot of hassle in the future.
It often appears that there is a reluctance to preparing a will or an LPA as people fear they are tempting fate in some way. However, once these documents are made then you can get on with enjoying your life safe in the knowledge that if you should ever need assistance (when you are still here or your after you have gone), then all is in order.
For a professional it is a simple straightforward process and a meeting will probably bring to the fore some points that you may not have even thought about.
A small amount of time and a modest expense now could save a lot of time and a lot of expense in the future.
Without preparing a will then on your death the state will decide where your assets are distributed. If you do not make Lasting Powers of Attorney then the court will make these decisions by way of a deputyship order. This takes many months to put in place and is very costly.
Make life easier for yourself and your family now and get organised for the future by preparing a will today.
If you would like to discuss your needs then please contact me directly by emailing claire.warner@GAsolicitors.com or by calling 01752 203500. We can discuss your situation without obligation and ensure you are on the right path.