What happens when a person is no longer capable of handling or managing their own affairs?
If you are unable to look after your own affairs, and you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Court of Protection will appoint a Deputy to manage your affairs for you. There will probably be significant legal fees due and the Deputy may not be aware of your personal circumstances. This could apply to anyone, at any age, by reason of illness, disability or mental impairment who may no longer be able to deal with even simple matters like handling a bank or building society account or transacting a house sale.
Unlike the old Enduring Power, which was one short document, The Lasting Power of attorney has two sections which can be made separately or together.
via Make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Preparing your will
Although it is possible to write a will by yourself, it is advisable to use a solicitor as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your will is valid. You may also need legal advice for more complicated matters. A solicitor can also advise you about how Inheritance Tax affects you.
A solicitor may be able to visit you in your own home, care home or hospital.
The cost of writing a will can vary between solicitors and will depend on how complicated your affairs may be and the experience of the solicitor.
As well as solicitors, voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Age UK can also help with your will.
via Making a will : Directgov – Government, citizens and rights.
By making a will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Although you do not have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure your estate is passed on to family and friends exactly as you wish. If you die without a will, your assets may be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes.
Why it’s important to make a will
A will sets out who is to benefit from your property and possessions (your estate) after your death. There are many good reasons to make a will:
* you can decide how your assets are shared – if you don’t have a will, the law says who gets what
* if you’re an unmarried couple (whether or not it’s a same-sex relationship), you can make sure your partner is provided for
* if you’re divorced, you can decide whether to leave anything to your former partner
* you can make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than necessary
* Financial reasons to make a will (money, tax and benefits section)
via Making a will : Directgov – Government, citizens and rights.
Without a will your estate passes according to the rules on intestacy laid down by law, which may not correspond with your wishes. In some cases it can lead to the need to sell the family home or assets passing to distant relatives or to the state. As you are about to avoid this by making your will, all this should, hopefully, be academic, so the summary of the rules here for your information is very brief.
- On an intestacy in England and Wales The surviving spouse does not automatically take the whole estate even if there are no children.
- A surviving spouse takes, as a minimum, firstly, a statutory legacy of 250,000 pounds, plus personal possessions and, secondly, the income for life from half only of the remaining estate. Any children take all the rest of the estate (less the surviving spouse’s income on half the remainder). The surviving spouse does better if there are no children. But still some estate goes to brothers/sisters. The rules on intestacy recognise civil partners; but not couples who are not married to each other, step-children or relatives by marriage. Beneficiaries extend, in order, to children, parents, brothers/sisters, half-brothers/sisters, grandparents, uncles/aunts, half-uncles/aunts. Successive generations take where whole or half brothers/sisters or uncles/aunts have predeceased leaving survivors. Failing such beneficiaries, the Crown takes.
There is a 28 day survivorship condition for a surviving spouse. Apart from a surviving spouse, beneficiaries who are under age 18 do not take capital until age 18 or on earlier marriage. For full details of the rules of inheritance on intestacy.
Fore more information see TenminuteWills Guide to what happens if you do not make a will.
On-line help from Citizen’s Advice – Intestacy, a clear guide
Making a Will may well be one of the most important things you ever do. Please use the search facility, previous posts list and categories to find everything you want to know about making a will in the UK. Please check dates on posts. Information was correct at the time of publishing but are subject to change.
Many new websites are appearing on the internet offering free or very low cost wills.
Remember! Nothing is life is truly free. There is almost always a catch or the will is too simple or, at worst, it is not checked as being totally valid. The latter can leave you in a situation where you feel content you have a valid will but you possibly do not. This is just as bad as having now will at all!
Information about why to avoid using free wills services
The possible change of Government in the UK could see some changes made to the Lasting Power of Attorney facility as we now know it.
As when the old enduring power of attorney was removed a few years ago it is usually better to buy in NOW as you can always change it if the future version is any better but you can’t backdate to the old version. Historically changes are not backdated so any current arrangement remains valid providing it is made prior to the date of change.
If you are considering a Lasting Power of Attorney it is probably better to make it now.
Lasting Power of Attorney
The new lasting power of attorney has now been with us for over one year.
As with the old enduring power of attorney everyone who makes a will should make a lasting power of attorney.
For more information there is a useful new website
After the 1st of October 2007 you will no longer be able to make an Enduring Power of Attorney but will have to use the new Lasting Power of Attorney.
Most advisers recommend that you make an Enduring Power of Attorney BEFORE the cut off date to avoid the new complicated rules and procedures.
Everyone should have an Enduring Power of Attorney!
You can see more information at www.enduring-power-of-attorney.net
There is a useful article/case study about why people with assets in excess of the Nil Rate Band (£285,000) should consider a Discretionary Will Trust as oppsed to a “normal” will. Making a Discretionary Will Trust can reduce, or even eliminate, the Inheritance Tax liability on your estate.
Why give it to the tax man when you can leave an extra £114,000 to your beneficiaries?
Site available at www.discretionary-will-trust.co.uk
Case study article here
Many people make it a New years Resolution to write a will, but why wait?
If you have decided that its something you need to do (and everyone should KNOW this) what is the point of putting it off. If anything is going to happen to you it could just as easily be tomorrow as January.
As the saying goes it is NEVER too early to make a will bhut it cfould be too late. Over 70% of people in the UK die without a will – I’m sure a lot of them were “going to get round to it one day”!
Make a Will NOW – online in minutes here