You should review your legal affairs at least every 2-3 years and certainly when your personal circumstances change.
Here are some suggestions to help you plan during your lifetime to help you and your loved ones be prepared for the worst case scenarios and to protect your assets for your family and future generations.
Keep all your paperwork relating to assets and debts accessible and in one place. Make sure your family knows where to find things if the need arises.
Mental and Physical Capacity
We all have car insurance, home insurance and life insurance but what about insurance against physical and/or mental incapacity? Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are not just for the older generation; anyone can be affected by stroke, accident or dementia. Without an LPA in place your loved one would not be able to legally deal with any of your assets or give consent or refuse medical treatments on your behalf.
Also, it would ultimately prove much more costly if they had to make a Court of Protection application to appoint a deputy for you if there was no LPA in place. The Court fee alone is £400.00.
Business owners, whether they are a sole trader, in partnerships or a limited companies, should not be without a business LPA. Who would continue to run your business if the unfortunate should happen and you are not capable of continuing, even if it was only temporary incapacity?
Make a Will
A Will is the only legal way to protect children from previous relationships and ensure they inherit from your estate. There may be family feuds and you may wish to leave someone out of the estate. Again, it is important to get the right advice and a carefully drafted Will with accompanying letter of wishes. If you are a cohabiting couple there is no other way to ensure you adequately provide for your loved one in the event of your death other than executing a Will.
Who owns it? Is it registered with the Land Registry? If not, where are the Deeds? Your property can be your most valuable asset. You may wish to protect it for (or from) your children and grandchildren. There are always ways to do this and you should discuss this with us if you are concerned about it.
With the raising cost of funerals you can plan ahead and pay for your funeral now. This can relieve stress on the family as the whole event will have been pre-planned and paid for.
This is essential if there are ongoing bills to be paid and dependants who need financial assistance. The longer you do not address this issue the higher the premiums are likely to be. We have a panel of experienced independent financial advisors that we can refer you to.
Should you wish to discuss any of the above or any other legal matter please contact 01282 422711 or email PrivateClient@southernslaw.co.uk for an initial free chat.