THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A
WILL AND HAVING A
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
“Nothing in life is certain except Death and Taxes”
If you die without a Will, the first £250,000.00 of your estate will go entirely to your spouse or civil partner. Depending on how you own your family home, this might not form part of your estate. If your estate is worth more than £250,000.00, your spouse or civil partner will get the first £250,000.00 and the remainder will be divided equally between your natural children.
Not making a Will might mean that your children or step-children that you regard as your own get nothing. If children inherit, they will get their hands on the money when they are 18, do you really want them to inherit at 18, or would you rather they had to wait until they are more mature?
If you run a business as a sole trader, that business does not exist separately from yourself and all of your business assets, and tools will form part of your estate, and will be inherited in accordance with the Intestacy rules as above.
If you are in business in a partnership, death will dissolve that partnership. This may leave your business partner without livelihood, unable to fulfil contracts and cause irreparable damage to business relationships that you may want your surviving partner to continue.
If you operate your business through a limited company, your shares in the business will form part of your estate. Provision should be made in your memorandum and articles of association and your Will to ensure mechanisms for the valuation of your shares, the sale of your shares to enable the business to continue.
By making a Will, you can make provisions for practical arrangements such as your funeral. You can save your nearest and dearest the distress and stress of dealing with an intestate estate at a time when they are grieving and least able to deal with it. You may be able to ensure the survival of your business, for the benefit of your family or business partner.
Making a Will costs as little as £130.00, which may be a drop in the ocean compared to the financial and emotional cost to your family if you don’t make a Will.
LOSING LEGAL CAPACITY CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AT ANY AGE
Losing the capacity to deal with your own affairs and make decisions can arise from accidents, illness, stroke, which is not limited to the elderly, or from mental health issues. One in four of us experience mental health issues every year.
With the lack of capacity, you may also have additional care needs, either permanently or for a period of recovery.
During this time, you may lose your income. Your partner may lose their income if they care for you.
Without a Power of Attorney, no-one has the right to access information about your financial affairs, to access your bank accounts. There may be no-one able to fulfil your business contracts. If your mortgage is not paid, you could lose your house.
You may need to downsize to adapt the house to your care needs.
In the absence of a Power of Attorney, an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy can take months. This delay may mean financial ruin for your family, or your business.
A power of Attorney costs from as little as £425.00.
Lasting Powers of Attorney can ensure that someone can make the decisions you can’t make for yourself, maybe the only way to ensure that your business survives.
Powers of Attorney can also be used to ensure that you still have a say in decisions about your care, or medical treatment when you are no longer able to speak for yourself.
We can advise on your will and attorney needs in the comfort of your own home or in hospital.
Call us on 01785 213234 now