Legal News | 11.11.21
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today?
While Benjamin Franklin may well have had the right idea when he said ‘don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today’, many of us are still guilty of simply saying ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’.
If this sounds like you, why not make a change and tick a couple of things off your ‘to do’ list?
1. Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
There are two types of LPA: Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Financial Affairs allows you to choose people (called attorneys) to make decisions regarding your finances and property on your behalf. This can include paying bills, operating bank accounts and selling your property, if required.
You can choose when your attorneys can step in, be it:
a) when you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself; or
b) if you decide that you could do with some help dealing with the day-to-day running of your finances.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare allows your attorneys to make decisions on your behalf regarding where you live, the medical treatment you receive and your day-to-day needs. This type of LPA can also incorporate instructions regarding the type of life sustaining treatment that you may or may not wish to receive, as well as who should make any decisions regarding your end of life care.
In contrast to the LPA for Financial Affairs, the Health and Welfare LPA can only be used once you no longer have the mental capacity to make these types of decisions for yourself.
If you opt not to make Lasting Powers of Attorney and subsequently lose capacity, an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed to act on your behalf. This can be a costly and time consuming process and the Court of Protection is generally reluctant to appoint Health and Welfare deputies.
2. Your Will
A valid Will allows you to appoint trusted people (your executors) to administer your estate after your death. In addition, a Will provides the opportunity to set out to whom you wish to leave your estate, be it personal possessions, a property or cash gifts. Parents can also use their Will to formally appoint guardians for their children, should they die while they are under 18 years of age.
A well-drafted Will can also contain important tax savings provisions, meaning more of your estate passes to those you love, rather than to HMRC.
Without a Will, the distribution of your estate will follow the intestacy rules, which might not mean the outcome you had anticipated.
If you would like to discuss getting your affairs in order, so you can tick some things off your ‘to do’ list, please get in touch with your usual contact or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.