Taking Care of Yourself
In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself and your family.
Many people are rushing to make Wills at present, but the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney should not be overlooked, and the documents should (ideally) be prepared together. Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be executed when the person making them has the requisite mental capacity to do so. As mental incapacity can strike at any time through accident or illness or general deterioration, it is important to get your affairs in order whilst you are fit and well.
Making a Will allows you to say who inherits your estate after death. The Will does not take effect until death and therefore does not dictate what you can do with your estate in your lifetime – it is yours to do with as you please whilst you are alive. The Will simply takes care of what is left of your estate on death and accordingly should be drafted to protect and provide for those who are left behind. A Will should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it still meets with your wishes. Family circumstances can change quickly, and your Will should adapt accordingly.
Without a Will, the law dictates who will inherit your estate – don’t let that happen.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to say who deals with your affairs in your lifetime. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one that relates to your property and financial affairs, and the other that relates to your health and welfare. The two Lasting Powers of Attorney complement each other and enable you to say who should look after your affairs in the event that you are unable to.
Without Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, your legal next of kin have to apply to the Court of Protection in London for an order to be able to deal with your affairs. This can prove to be a lengthy and expensive process at a time when time may be of the essence – don’t let that happen.
So, don’t delay – take care of yourself today!
Mrs Maxine Heppenstall
Private Client Solicitor & Director
Walker Foster Ltd, Skipton