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  • New Year Resolutions

    New Year Resolutions

    We all make them and most of us break them!

    So what will yours be this year?  To give up smoking, do more exercise or spend more time with family?

    Why not make some legal resolutions such as….

    1. Make a Will

    2. Make a Lasting Power of Attorney

    3. Insure your relationship with a living together agreement or pre-marital agreement

    4. Deal with relationship breakdown

    So, why make a Will?

    Two out of three people do not have a Will, which means that two out of three people do not decide who deals with their estate, who looks after their children or who receives their money.  If you are not married, only by making a Will would you ensure that your partner receives a share of your money or that he or she can remain living in your home.  Only by making a Will would you decide who looks after your pets or that your favourite charity receives a little money.

    By making a Will, YOU DECIDE so you have peace of mind

    Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

    It is as important as making a Will.

    If you lose the ability to deal with your finances through ill health or following an accident, no-one (not even your children or spouse) is able to access your bank accounts and other assets unless you already have an LPA (or Enduring Power of Attorney).  Someone (not of your choosing) would need to apply to the Court to be appointed a Deputy, which is expensive and can take months.   If you have a business, in particular if you are a sole trader, this could be catastrophic.

    By making an LPA while you still have capacity, YOU DECIDE in advance and have peace of mind that if anything happens you have prepared for it.

    Why Insure Your Relationship?

    When you go on holiday, you pay for insurance ‘just in case’ something happens.  You have house insurance ‘just in case’ of damage, fire or theft.  Why not insure your relationship?

    I know it is not a romantic thing to do, but many relationships fail.  I see clients who have not prepared for the worst and it can be a longer and more expensive process to resolve than if an agreement had been made early on in the relationship.  A well written and frequently reviewed pre-marital agreement or living together agreement will save you time and money in the long run.  Although the Courts in England and Wales do not enforce pre-marital agreements as such, they do take them into account when making a decision about settlement.

    Certainly it is better to have an agreement than not!

    Is it now time to deal with your relationship issues?

    Early January is a busy time for a divorce and family lawyer.  Either you have agreed with your spouse to wait until after Christmas before separating or getting a divorce, or spending time together over Christmas was the last straw.

    The most important thing to do is seek advice now.  Many law firms offer you a free or fixed fee meeting to answer initial questions.  Meetings with solicitors are confidential.  So, you can find out what your rights are without your spouse knowing you have done so.

    So, what are your New Year Resolutions?


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