Not much of an uplifting blog given the background of Covid 19 but I have been considering putting my affairs in order and would advise others to do the same. It is very important for most people that they have a will and consider a lasting power of attorney to ensure loved ones have the practical means to make decisions on your behalf in the event you cannot.
Firstly a will is vital – if you die without one your estate is divided under statutory provisions which you may not have wanted. Broadly if you die intestate (without a valid will) certain amounts go to different classes of beneficiaries. So for example if you have children only the first £270,000 pass to your spouse with your children getting half of the balance. For many people that is not what they would want. A will ensures your estate passes to those you prioritise. It can of course also be structured to ensure maximum Inheritance Tax advantage. Please also remember if you get married then your current will becomes invalid.
A large proportion of the population have not made or have not recently reviewed their Wills.
Many more have not considered the need of having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place. If you refer to our Wills and Probate page you will see a simple explanation as to why such Powers of Attorney are necessary.
Both Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are not just for the extremely wealthy or businessmen and women, but are a means for every day families to avoid unnecessary difficulties in the future, particularly when something occurs unexpectedly.