If you haven’t yet got around to making a Will why not take this opportunity to do so?
If, like me, you are wondering where 2018 is disappearing to as we near the end of February, it may be an opportunity to think about when you made your Will and whether your circumstances have changed. Many clients are shocked at the length of time which has elapsed and often comment that things have changed drastically. It is important that you regularly review your Will in line with changes to your family circumstances, value of your estate and recent legislation changes.
If you were to die without a valid Will then the Laws of Intestacy dictate how your estate is distributed, which may not be in accordance with your wishes.
If you have subsequently married or entered into a Civil Partnership then your previous Will may be invalid unless you have included a contemplation of marriage/civil partnership clause. Maybe you now have children and you need to think about appointing Guardians in your Will or your children have grown up and you may even now be a new grandparent!
Most people want their loved ones to reap the benefit of their hard work and protecting assets is important to them. Your Will can be written incorporating a type of Trust. A couple could give each other the right to live in their share of the property subject to the payment of expenses until a certain specified event, for example, the survivor moving into a care home, remarrying, cohabiting as well as on their death. The Trust would terminate on the earliest event and the Trustees could then distribute the trust assets to the specified beneficiaries. The Trust can be tailored to your personal circumstances, for example to provide the survivor with the income from the net proceeds of sale or to allow the survivor to move into a substitute property.
It is also a good opportunity to think about taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney. This means that you make the choice as to who will be dealing with your personal affairs, both financially and medically, should you be unable to deal with them yourself. If you do not do this then it may be up to the Court to decide on your behalf and this procedure is extremely costly and time consuming and may not be what you want.
Our team have a wealth of experience and include members of STEP (www.step.org/about-us) and Solicitors for the Elderly (www.sfe.legal/public/welcome). This means you can have peace of mind that you are dealing with a highly experienced and qualified team who specialise in all matters relating to Private Client, including Wills, Power of Attorneys, Attorney Support Services, Tax Planning, Administration of Estates and Court of Protection related matters.
If you would like to discuss how we may assist you or your family, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our Private Client Department directly on 01252 907829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.