Do you and your relatives have an updated Will in place?
There has never been a more critical time to make sure you have your affairs in order, and while we all want our loved ones to live a long and healthy life, it is prudent to prepare and prevent legal problems.
How old do I need to be to have a Will?
A Will is often seen as something you write when reaching the twilight of your years, and while those over 60 should certainly have one in place, if you have children or family members who depend on you financially, regardless of your age, get a Will in place.
What if I already have a Will in place?
Have you reviewed it to make sure it reflects your current lifestyle?
If your circumstances have changed – new home, increased salary, children / grandchildren, divorce, etc. – then make sure your Will reflects any changes. It’s also worth having a review with a Solicitor to ensure the Will is up to date with current legislation and that the Will is as tax efficient as it can be.
What if I have a second family?
If you have children from a first marriage and you then marry for a second time, it is paramount that you have a Will in place to make sure your children from the first relationship/ marriage are provided for. If you do not make a provision for them in your Will, and you die first, then everything will go to your new spouse on death, and your children may be disinherited.
What if I run my own business?
Alongside a Will, business owners should ensure they have an up to date partnership and / or shareholder agreement in place. Without this, your business colleagues may encounter problems such as:
· Difficulty accessing bank accounts to pay staff and suppliers,
· Loans and supplier agreements may become invalid
I have young children – who can be a guardian?
If you have children (under the age of 18), you may wish to consider appointing a guardian to step in if something was to happen to you / and your partner. A letter can be drafted to accompany the Will which will set out any additional guidance you may want to give the guardians on issues such as who is to look after them, educational arrangements, access to inheritance, etc.
Are there any other legal documents I should consider?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that gives one adult the authority to make certain decisions on behalf of another person if they become unable to make decisions for themselves – known as lacking mental capacity.
This could be through dementia, a life-changing accident, long-term illness; there are many scenarios, but without an LPA in place, people of importance to you will find it extremely difficult to make decisions on your behalf relating to finances, health, welfare or the running of your business so prevent legal problems and get an LPA.
For expert advice on Will, Lasting Power of Attorney, Trust or any other legal matter, contact:
We are open as usual but are also using skype, facetime and email to try to minimise person-to-person contact, so if you prefer not to come in, we can still process your legal documentation.