Probate, Wills & Estates Newsletter – May 2018

Spring into action and make a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney, please don’t brush matters under the carpet and leave it too late!

Spring cleaning can be gratifying! Imagine the scene….the sun is shining, you have been nifty with the duster and polish and everything is as bright and shiny as a new pin! But what is lurking behind those cupboard doors, can you even open those drawers that are crammed full of paperwork, how long have those bank statements and other papers you tossed to one side been sat on top of the microwave or bookcase?

Have you ever considered who will sort through your cupboards, papers, financial matters and personal affairs in the event of mental incapacity through illness or accident or worse, if you die?

The sad fact is that if you have not taken steps to put a Will or Power of Attorney in place to appoint chosen trusted individuals to take management in these situations then there may be someone who could act on your behalf whom you would never dream of appointing, such as an estranged member of family. It is possible that they could even inherit your wealth on death!

Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are instruments which record the intentions of the creator. The documents set out clearly who you would like to take over your affairs in the event of incapacity or death.

The Intestacy Rules are strict and dictate who will inherit in the absence of a Will. Cohabiting couples would not be provided for under the Intestacy Rules, there would be no provision for stepchildren either.

Wills can be drafted to protect assets ensuring stepchildren are not disinherited where couples remarry and also for those couples who wish to ensure their children inherit some of their wealth rather than the whole estate being absorbed by future Care Home fees.

Parents can also appoint guardians to care for minor children and appoint trustees to ensure trust monies are safeguarded and used appropriately until the children reach the age when the inheritance vests in them.

To ensure things go the way you want them to you need to plan ahead and document your wishes.

Even if you have taken sensible steps to make a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney you should always keep these documents under review particularly if your circumstances change such as in the event of marriage or divorce.

There is no better time than the present to make Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. For more information or an informal chat please contact Victoria Pugh on 01743 237668 or email v.pugh@hatchers.co.uk