Stage Financial

Wills & LPAs

Overview

Wills & Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs)

It is important to have these in place for when you, and especially your loved ones need it.

Subjects that aren’t usually at the top of our financial goals list, but they should not be avoided. Get them sorted and keep them periodically updated and you can put your mind at rest knowing that your Will is written and that you’ve taken advice on LPAs for your future financial and property management as well as your health and wellness.

Wills

Why you need a Will?

With a Will, you’re in charge, you get to make the decisions. These include:

  • Who the executor is
  • Who inherits what and how much
  • Avoiding unnecessary Inheritance Tax, by putting appropriate plans in place

Having no Will

I often get asked: “What happens if I don’t make a Will?” The short answer is: delays, a family member being appointed to be the executor, they might not be the best person to carry out this task and finally, the law decides who gets what, not you. 

Unmarried couples and blended families

If you are not married or in a Civil Partnership, the rules that apply to married couples do not apply to you.

Just because you have a long-term partner, it is not an automatic decision that they will have a claim on your estate and your assets might be distributed in a way that you did not want.

The law sometimes insists on costly legally binding trusts to be set up, which if they apply to small sums of money, may considerably reduce your estate. Inheritance tax could be applied, which if a Will was in place, might have been avoided.

Finally and most importantly, you get to decide who looks after your children if they are young when you die.

Updating your Will

A good rule of thumb is to review the details of your Will annually. If not each year, then certainly if your wishes change, or when there are life-changing events for you or any of your beneficiaries. This would include, births, deaths, marriages, or divorce. 

Lasting Power of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney

It’s a way of giving a trusted person, usually a friend or family member, the power to make decisions on your behalf if you feel you cannot or don’t want to make them.

Importance and types

Having a Lasting Power of Attorney, enables you to plan for the future, financially protect yourself & family members and it can reduce tension amongst your relatives regarding your finances and health.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney

Property and Affairs LPA
With this LPA, the attorney(s) you choose make decisions about your finances and your property.

Personal Welfare LPA

With this option, the attorney(s) can make decisions about your healthcare and welfare. This includes deciding on what treatment you can have and where you live.

 

What Do I Need to Know About LPAs

How to arrange

It is advised to set up your Lasting Power of Attorney while you are still mentally and physically fit. Just because you’ve set it up, doesn’t mean it comes into action immediately. It needs to be registered with Office of the Public Guardian.

Before you register the document, you need to notify the person or persons you have nominated as your guardian(s). Once the registration has taken place, both you and the attorney(s) are notified by the Public Guardian.

I would advise to appoint more than one attorney, to stop abuse of their position.

It is worth noting that, if mentally capable, you can cancel you Lasting Power of Attorney at any time.

What if I don’t have one

If sadly, your mentally ability means you are not capable of making your own decisions or communicating clearly, the Court of Protection may become involved. They can decide on whether you are mentally capable to make a decision, if they feel you can’t they can make an order relating to your financial and property decisions. They can also appoint a deputy to make decisions on your behalf.

How frequently should I update

A good rule of thumb is to review the details of your LPAs annually with your Will. You should update your LPAs if your wishes change regarding who you want your attorney to be or if your current attorney is no longer able to act on your behalf.  

How Stage Financial can help

Nobody looks forward to having these conversations, but they really are the best way to get the ball rolling.

My personal approach and platinum standard qualifications mean the advice given will be of the highest level and tailored to your exact needs.

Disclaimer

  • The value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. Therefore, you may get back less than you invested. 
  • Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate advice on estate planning and some forms of taxation.

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