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Power of Attorney & Wills: What you Need to Know

Power of Attorneys and Wills are the most recognised later life documents. Although many of us have heard of these documents, and understand their importance, we tend to move them towards the bottom of our list of priorities. However, by prioritising your end-of-life plan, you ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.


Discover everything you need to know about a Power of Attorney and Wills, and how they can help you and your family, when you no longer can.


Wills

Wills are the cornerstone of estate planning. This document is the surest and easiest way in which you can confidently express your wishes for what you want to happen to your estate when you are gone. A Will can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it, allowing you to specify who you would like to receive what.


How can a Will help you and your family?

There is no one plan for everyone, your plan depends on you, your relationships with your loved ones your assets and your wishes. Your death will undoubtedly be a difficult and emotional time for those closest to you. However by having a plan in place, you not only ease your own mind, but ease the process for those who were close to you.


By writing your Will, you ensure that your assets are passed along to your family, providing them with a clear documentation of your last wishes, easing the impact of your loss for those who cared for you the most.


If you don’t make a Will

If you don’t make a Will to instruct what you want to happen to your estate, your estate will be considered intestate. When this occurs, your assets are distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This can be a long and complicated process and the people you love could have to wait much longer to receive what you wanted them to inherit.

Set guidelines must be followed as to who can receive any benefit from your estate, meaning that people who were there for you may miss out, and the process may end up costing a significant amount in legal fees.


By having your Will in place, you ensure that the person distributing your estate has been chosen by you, and that they understand your wishes fully. Unfortunately, in times of bereavement, tensions that arise around the distribution of an estate can often be enough to cause family disputes or even legal battles, so it is certainly not something you should leave to chance.


Lastly, without a Will it is also more difficult to plan should your family have Inheritance Tax (IHT) to pay on your estate. Proper planning with a Will allows a professional to use government relief that can reduce any IHT due on your estate which can save your family thousands.


Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (PoA), also known as a Lasting Power of Attorney in England, allows you to choose a loved one or trusted friend to make decisions for you about your money, or your health or both. This document allows them to legally act on your behalf if you lose the ability to do so in the future.


If you lose capacity

A Power of Attorney comes into place when you no longer have the capacity to make decisions regarding your health and finance yourself. Therefore, the person you appoint via your Power of Attorney now has the authority to make these decisions on your behalf. However, they must fulfil any wishes you have outlines as long as they are not harmful to you.


How can a Power of Attorney help you and your family?

A Power of Attorney is a legal tool we hope you never need to use, but if there comes a time where you require a trusted person to act on your behalf, and you don’t have one in place, your family may have to go to court to gain authority to act on your behalf.


This process can be time-consuming and costly, additionally, the court may not nominate the person who you would have chosen to look after your welfare.

When you set up a Power of Attorney, you not only stay in control of your affairs, but you also make it easier for your loved ones to assist you in the future should it be required. The person you nominate as your attorney can be a close relative or trusted friend.

Never worry about what will happen to you, or your loved ones again, contact us and write your Will and Power of Attorney. For further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with on 0330 390 9200.

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