Make a Will
Firstly, if you do not have a Will, make one now! You then decide who deals with your estate when you die, who receives your money and assets and who will look after your children and pets.
Review your Will
It is important to review your Will on a regular basis (every 3 to 5 years). Many people do not review their Wills regularly. Executors and beneficiaries may die before you, children and grandchildren are born and may not be provided for and the law changes on a daily basis. I offer free Will reviews and only charge if you wish to make changes to your Will.
What does it cost?
I offer a fixed fee for a basic Will at £250 plus VAT per Will.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
If you develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, suffer a stroke, become seriously injured, or suffer a lack of capacity following an accident, nobody (including your family) can deal with your affairs unless you have a registered LPA (or Enduring Power of Attorney).
There are two types of LPA
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your Attorneys to deal with your financial affairs and make decisions for you including paying your bills, dealing with your bank, collecting benefits/pensions and selling your home.
A Health and Welfare LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions on your behalf relating to your treatment, care, medication and where you are cared for. It can also provide that your Attorneys have the power to give or refuse consent to certain medical treatment.
Who should you choose as your Attorney(s)?
It is crucial to choose someone you trust to look after your affairs. You can choose more than one person and you can decide whether your Attorneys make decisions jointly (they must all agree) or jointly and severally (one can act independently of the others). You can choose family members, friends, professionals or a mixture.
When can an LPA be used?
A LPA can only be used once it has been registered. If you lose capacity, your Attorneys can then immediately act on your behalf. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can also be used while you still have capacity. This is particularly useful if you become ill, frail or live abroad for part of the year and would like your Attorneys to deal with your bank or pay your bills. Your Attorneys must follow your instructions if you still have capacity. A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used if you lose mental capacity.
When should you make a LPA?
Now! Statistics show that approximately one in three of us will lose capacity at some time in our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to have a LPA in place.
Enjoy peace of mind that you have chosen someone you trust to step in and deal with your affairs should you ever need them to. The alternative is that someone (possibly not of your choosing) would need to apply to the Court to be appointed as a Deputy. This is a timely and expensive process. The Court fee alone is £371 and your affairs are in limbo for 6 months or more.
What does it cost?
I offer fixed fees for LPAs of £300 plus VAT per LPA, plus the Court registration fee of £82. The Court fee is means tested and free for those on certain benefits or reduced for those on a limited income.