The Importance of Making a Will & Powers of Attorney
IAN THOMPSON >
Consultant SolicitorWed 13 May 2020
In the current climate, I have seen an increase in people wanting to update or for me to draft their wills.
There are good reasons for doing so:
- It makes it easier for your family and friends to deal with matters when you are gone.
- Without a will, the law determines who gets what. This is known as dying “intestate”.
- It can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on your estate.
- It is especially important if you have children or other dependents who will need looking after.
- You can also use your will to tell people about other wishes you may have. For example, burial or cremation (or in my case, having my ashes scattered at a very specific place in South Wales)!
Wills are not expensive. You can buy a template online. However, I would always recommend that you have your will professionally drafted by a qualified solicitor. Will drafting is a complex process. It must align with the legal rules and be drafted to avoid any ambiguity. If the will is contested following your death, this could be detrimental to the beneficiaries named in the will. Fees for this type of work are inexpensive and there is the added benefit of insurance. This takes care of matters after death.
What happens if we are unable to make decisions for ourselves when we are alive? We may lose mental capacity. This is where “Powers of Attorney” come to our aid. We can appoint other people to take care of us.
There are two types of legal Powers of Attorney:
- Health & welfare (daily routines, medical care, care homes, and life-sustaining equipment, etc.)
- Property & financial affairs (managing bank accounts, paying bills and selling your home, etc.)
You can opt for one or both.
Again, powers of attorney are relatively inexpensive to have professionally prepared.
So, to be belt and braces without breaking the bank, you might like to think about getting your affairs in order, before as well as after, crossing the mortal line.
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Ian Thompson is a Consultant Solicitor for Taylor Rose TTKW. Click here to view his full profile.
Ian is home-based in the Marsworth area. Contact him today by calling 020 0004 5481 or click on the contact us icon to send an email direct.
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