Wills and Probate
A surprising number of people put off thinking about making a will despite the fact that a lawyer can make the process uncomplicated, enlighten you on many points and give you real value for money. At Peace Legal, we work with you to make the whole process as straightforward as possible and help to ensure you have covered all the important points.
Make a Will – it won’t kill you!
Despite living in an age of ever more complicated financial affairs and intricate family relationships, Government statistics show that more than two-thirds of those who have died did not make a Will.
A Will – or lack of one – has featured in many a tale, from Dickens to plots in Eastenders! There is a real risk of “Family Fallout” in dealing with the estate of a deceased person who has not made a will or not updated an existing one. Families can be torn apart with financial and emotional misery causing deep seated rifts that may never heal. Probably not what the deceased would have wanted!
The fractured nature of modern families and an increasingly litigious society means that making a Will is more important now than ever.
The Treasury regularly makes in excess of £70 million from estates where people have died without making a Will (“intestate”) and close family members cannot be traced.
Many people cannot face the prospect of their own mortality – but unfortunately that won’t stave off the Grim Reaper! It is often said: “the only certainties in life are death and taxes”, and it is not just the elderly and the terminally ill who die.
There are many reasons to make a Will;
saving of Inheritance Tax (IHT);
saving of potential future care home fees;
appointment of Guardians for infant children;
appointment of Executors to look after your business;
to make sure that your wishes are carried out in respect of gifts, legacies and your own funeral;
to ensure that those you DO wish to benefit are named in your Will and, conversely, those you DON’T are left out.
Whatever the reasons, having a current, valid, thought-out Will makes things so much easier for your nearest and dearest in the event of your death. Dying intestate can leave an utter mess. Even if you think you do not have major assets to leave, making a Will is useful to appoint an executor so that they have the authority to deal with matters and tie up your affairs.
So – if you haven’t made a Will, or if you have made one and not reviewed it for a while – now is the time to contact us. It is not a morbid or expensive exercise and here at Peace Legal we are confident that we can guide you through the Will making process in a manner which is clear, helpful and efficient.
Dealing with the estate of someone who has died can be a challenging task, sometimes involving the sale of properties and investments, or the settlement of loans, debts, mortgages or tax issues. An individual who takes on that challenge may have to manage a wide range of legal, financial and administrative matters, often at a time of emotional distress.
Some people feel they may not have the time or the expertise to deal with the process. Others are concerned that they may be liable for any mistakes they make, or may not wish to deal with family disagreements over money. For these reasons, most families decide to use a specialist professional to handle everything involved in the process, from start to finish.
Before they will release larger amounts of money, organisations like banks and insurance companies normally need to see a document confirming who is legally entitled to administer the estate. It is usually called a Grant of Representation (depending on your circumstances, this document may have a different name)
LASTING POWER of ATTORNEY
A lasting power of attorney ( LPA ) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA.
You don’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
There are 2 types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs
- Health and Welfare
You can choose to make one type or both.