Wills & Lasting Powers of Attorney
We all learn the facts of life. But you also need to know the facts of death – and that involves wills and lasting powers of attorney.
As we get older it becomes time to think about what will happen to our property and wealth when we pass, or if we have to go into care. Most importantly we should think about making provisions about how best to legally protect our wealth for the next generation from the authorities or the tax man.
The first thing everybody needs is a will.
Most of us have some wealth to leave behind. Most of us know who we want to leave it to. If you die without a will (called intestate) then your estate passes to your next of kin, who can decide how to dispose of it. However if you want to leave specific bequests – some jewellery to a favourite niece, £100 to the local cats-home, a piece of silver to the next-door-neighbour who looked after you – then it’s best to have it written down.
Any lawyer will advise you to draw up a will and leave your affairs in order ‘for the avoidance of doubt’. At Mancini Legal we’re no exception and our friendly local team will make sure your wishes are noted correctly. We are also happy to act as executors and make sure your wealth ends up where you want it to.
If you have a significant estate it is also worth talking to our Trust team to see how you can best protect your wealth from inheritance tax.
Why might a lasting power of attorney be necessary?
When you give someone lasting power of attorney it means they are able to make decisions for you if you are considered ‘unfit’ to make those decisions yourself. This can be in medical situations or in financial situations (though you could select the same person for both of these situations).
If anything happens to you this person is going to be the one making decisions for you. If you don’t select someone yourself then this power automatically goes to your closest relative. If you are married this is your spouse, if you are not married it goes to your oldest child (if they are of legal age) or to your parents. If you prefer someone outside of that order making your decisions for you then you want to name someone specific to act out your wishes. You want to make sure also that they are going to do what you would want them to do.
Remember that whoever you give lasting power of attorney to has the ability to make end of life decisions, financial decisions and more. You will want to consider this person carefully and make sure that they know what your wishes are. In order to make everything clear however, you will also want to get the perfect solicitor to help you draw up the necessary documents.
Mancini Legal will be that solicitor. We will draft all the documents you need to ensure that the person making all of your decisions is the one you want.
Do I need lasting power of attorney?
You absolutely need to make sure you give someone lasting power of attorney to make your decisions.
Remember they only make the decisions if you are unable to do so but that doesn’t only happen when you grow older. If you have a genetic predisposition toward conditions such as Huntington’s or Alzheimer’s you may find yourself unable to make your own choices before you would ever have imagined.
If you are involved in an accident as well you could find yourself incapable of making these decisions. That’s why you want to create lasting power of attorney quickly, before you are even at risk.
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