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The forgotten New Years Resolution UK
95% of people forget this crucial New Years Resolution - they don't have a clue why Lasting Powers of Attorney are crucial. 58% forget that an up to date and relevant Last Will in needed too.
A recent YouGov Survey on behalf of Barnados showed that 58% don’t get a legal round tuit.
Our survey shows that over 95% of people don’t have a clue what a legal round tuit is – and as such they put themselves and their families in a potentially very difficult and expensive spot.
Stephen Pett of APWW.co.uk explains “Legal Planning comes into its’ own when the unexpected happens – a car accident, a trip on ice, a stroke, a mugging etc etc. Sometimes these events are really serious and the victim is left in a coma or at least unable to manage their own affairs temporarily or permanently. So who is in charge?
In the event of death, it is relatively simple - if the victim was one of the 42% of adults who has taken the trouble to put a Last Will in place. With a Last Will at least your assets and children are sent where YOU wish them to go. Without a Last Will, the Rules of Intestacy will spread your assets around, and Social Services and the Courts will decide who gets the kids (if both parents are out of commission).”
But things get worse if you survive but are unable to manage your finances etc: in these circumstances most people would expect that their wife/ husband/ partner / parents / children would take over automatically. But the Law is specific: only Attorneys appointed by you, or a “Deputy” appointed by the Court of Protection has any authority. Bank accounts (including joint ones) etc will be frozen until this is sorted. It must be better to appoint your own trusted family as Attorneys rather than expect the Court of Protection to make the right choice – especially as they may appoint a solicitor if they can’t decide which would be the best family member.
So what do you need to prevent problems?
1. A thorough up to date, properly signed and safely stored Last Will
2. A Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare appointing people you trust as Attorneys to look after where you live, who you see, medical issues etc etc if you can’t.
3. Either an old Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs.
A last word from Stephen Pett: “Like Financial Planning, Legal Planning needs to be kept under review as your circumstances, those of your family, as well as tax and the law change fairly steadily. We use WillCustodian.co.uk to enable our clients to keep their New Years Resolutions as far as Legal Planning are concerned – it is an easy way to get a Round Tuit which works year after year after year helping to keep things ship shape and Bristol fashion!”
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Stephen Pett of Allied Professional Will Writers (www.APWW.co.uk)
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