Why you need to have a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Will!

Sunday, 03 May 2015
Why you need to have a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Will!

Lasting Powers of Attorney.

What are the different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)?

There are two types of LPA, one relates to your property and financial affairs, the other relates to your health and welfare.

You can appoint up to four attorneys under a Property and Financial LPA to look after all of your finances (bank accounts, investments, pensions, property transactions etc). Your Attorney(s) can act with you now, with your permission, or only if you are unable to act for yourself.

You can also appoint up to four Attorneys under a Health and Welfare LPA. Your Attorney(s) will be responsible for making decisions on your behalf in relation to your medical care and welfare if you ever lose capacity to make these decisions for yourself.

You have the option to choose one LPA or both of them. This will depend on your circumstances.

What are the dangers of not having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place?

Without a Property and Financial LPA in place, nobody would have an automatic right to access your bank account and to make decisions on your behalf (and in your best interests) if you were to lose capacity. Your next of kin or close friends would have to apply to the Court of Protection in order to be granted authorisation to deal with your financial affairs. This is costly, time consuming and means that the Court of Protection would be left to decide matters for you.

Without a Health and Welfare LPA, family and trusted friends cannot make decisions regarding your medical treatment, ongoing care and well being if you lose capacity to make these decisions for yourself.  Decisions would be made by people that you do not know and with whom you do not have a close relationship of trust.

Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be made while you still have full mental capacity.  Now is your opportunity to choose the people that you trust and have confidence in. It is important that you don't leave it too late.

What does a Lasting Power of Attorney cost to create?

We charge £450 + VAT for one Lasting Power of Attorney and we charge £500 + VAT for couples who will require two Lasting Powers of Attorney. In addition, registration and court fees of £110 per LPA will need to be paid.

Wills

Why is a Will important?

A Will is a legal document that comes into effect upon your death. By making a Will, you are controlling who will look after your affairs and receive your belongings and assets after you die. If you die without a Will, there are strict rules that dictate how your possessions should be allocated and your loved ones may have an expensive legal battle on their hands when they try to prove their entitlement to your assets. Unmarried partners and partners who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from one another unless there is a Will in place, causing severe financial hardship for the remaining partner. If you have children, you will need to stipulate how your children will be looked after in the event of your death. No matter what conversations you may have had to date with family, friends or others, if your wishes are not recorded in a Will then there is no guarantee that they will be upheld.

Is it important to keep a Will up-to-date?

A Will should always be updated whenever you experience any significant changes in your life. Examples can include: in anticipation of or following a marriage, upon divorce, when moving home, if you subsequently have children or if there is a relationship breakdown with individuals who are nominated in your existing Will.

What does a Will cost to make and can you make your own Will?

It is always advisable to use a Lawyer to draft your Will. It is very easy to make a mistake and an error in your Will can cause problems and delays in carrying out your wishes after your death. Your Will should be drafted by an experienced Lawyer who will ensure that your Will is legally valid. At Ascot Lawyers we charge £165 + VAT for a basic single Will and £300 + VAT for Mirror Wills for couples. We are confident that this offers our clients a competitively priced service and peace of mind.

Why choose Ascot Lawyers?

We offer a friendly and professional service that includes an initial consultation and an advice session that can take place face-to-face or in writing. We can also arrange home visits for those clients who are unable to travel. We will draft your Will for your approval, witness the execution of the Will and we can securely store your Will free of charge if that is your wish.

If you have any questions or would like to talk with us or arrange a free initial telephone consultation, please call us now on 01344 512370 or email: enquiries@ascotlawyers.co.uk.

Alternatively, complete our contact form and we'll get a relevant member of our team to contact you.