The current climate we all find ourselves in has made most of us think more carefully about our future and how to protect it. There is surely therefore, no better time to consider your will and power of attorney?
I still find it astonishing how many people in the UK do not have a will in place. A study carried out recently concluded that over half of British adults did not have a will in place, including over half of all parents. Having a child is one of the main reasons to put a will in place. In your will you can appoint guardians – people to look after your children if both parents were to die and set up trusts for children or vulnerable beneficiaries so their inheritance is managed on their behalf until they attain a suitable age.
Another important reason to make a will is to ensure your estate is dealt with as tax efficiently as possible. Obtaining expert legal advice alongside writing your will, ensures that your estate benefits from all the available tax allowances and can also protect your assets in second marriages or for care purposes.
I therefore strongly recommend that everyone takes this opportunity of reflection to update their current will or if you have no will, to put one in place as soon as possible.
Another thing to consider whilst sorting your will, is a power of attorney. What the past few months have shown is that nothing is certain and whilst we all hope we would never need to use a power of attorney, particularly if we are young, there is no guarantee of when one may be useful.
A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to manage both your financial affairs and/or health and welfare in the event you were unable to do so, either due to a temporary or permanent loss of capacity. Without a power of attorney, no one can legally do this for you, even if they are your spouse. Therefore, if you have assets in your sole name or hold property either in your sole name or jointly, having a power of attorney is invaluable.
If you would like further information regarding Wills or powers of attorney, please contact me by email at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01704 535216