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WHY SHOULD I MAKE A WILL?

 
 

Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your money, property and other possessions are distributed according to your wishes. It enables you to safeguard the security of your loved ones because without one you lose all control over who will inherit your estate. You also choose the people who you want to deal with your affairs after you have gone (executors), and can choose the people that you would want to look after your children (guardians).

 
 

WHAT IF I DIE WITHOUT MAKING A WILL?

 
 

If you die without a Will you a very likely to cause unnecessary stress and financial hardship to loved ones left behind. You have no control over who will administer your estate and children can become a ward of court if you have not appointed legal guardians. Your estate will be distributed under the Laws of Intestacy, which means that you have no control over who gets what. You cannot assume that your spouse or children will simply get everything. In addition, a ‘common-law’ partner is not recognised within the Laws of Intestacy so he or she could be omitted completely. (See how the Laws of Intestacy would affect you).

 
 

WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE A WILL?

 
 

You should review your Will every 3 years or sooner if personal circumstances change. For example, if you move home, increase the size of your family, a beneficiary or an executor dies, or if you simply change your mind about what your Will says. A review of your Will ensures that it remains up to date and reflects your current circumstances. Special care should be taken if you get married after you write a Will. In most cases a Will is automatically revoked upon marriage, unless it contains specific wording to the contrary. It is also advisable to review your Will upon separation or divorce.

 
 

WHY SHOULD I MAKE A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY?

 
 

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions, or to make decisions on your behalf, in relation to property, finance, health and welfare. This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made. If you have not appointed your attorney(s) then no one, not even your husband or wife, has any legal authority to act on your behalf if you lack mental capacity. The only route then available to your family is to apply to the Court of Protection for the power to act on your behalf and this can be a very lengthy and costly process.

 
 

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