A will is a legal document that sets out your wishes on distribution of property and any minor children after your death. If you die without a will those wishes may not be carried out.
This may not be what you would have wished for, but in any event your heirs may be forced to spend additional time, money, and emotional energy trying to settle your affairs after you’re gone.
Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills, however there are many good reasons for everyone to have a will.
Be clear about who gets your assets.
Decide who gets what and how much.
You can identify who should care for your children, without a will, the courts will decide.
You can plan to save your estate money by providing gifts and charitable donations, which can help offset the estate tax.
As soon as you have decided to make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney – you may prefer to discuss your personal affairs in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Will writing or Lasting Powers of Attorney.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney
If you are unable to manage your own affairs through ill health or losing mental capacity and don’t have a LPA in place, it will be necessary for your family to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed to deal with everyday financial matters. This is a slow and very expensive process, costing thousands of pounds. If you already have an LPA in place, this will not be necessary.
There are two types of LPA:
Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows a chosen person to handle your bank accounts, investments, bills, and property.
Without an LPA, any joint bank accounts you hold with your partner could become severely restricted. This can be devastating, especially if the joint owner has their income or pension paid into this account, or they use it to pay critical bills such as a mortgage or utility costs.
Health and Welfare LPA covers decisions about your health and care.
Health conditions such as Dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or a stroke can cause making decisions to become virtually impossible.