FAQs – Wills and Powers of Attorney

Why should I make a Will?

When a person dies without making a Will, his or her assets pass according to a strict legal order governed by the Rules of Intestacy. Consequently, there is no control over who are to be the recipients of the estate, which can cause emotional and financial turmoil for loved ones. Making a Will ensures that the people and charities who you want to benefit from your estate will do so.

Who will look after my children if I die?

This depends on whether you have a partner/spouse and whether they have parental responsibility. For a married couple it is usually the surviving spouse. In the event of both you and your partner/spouse dying at the same time, you can appoint a guardian in your Will to look after your children.

Do I have to instruct a solicitor to make a Will?

No, it is not mandatory, but always advisable.

The benefits of using a solicitor are:

  • Guidance – a solicitor will advise on the form of the Will, appointment of executors/guardians and also on how assets could be distributed.
  • Tax – a solicitor will be able to advise on the most tax efficient way to dispose of your estate.
  • Format and structure – a solicitor will structure the Will in the correct way and follow the relevant statutory requirements in relation to its execution, thereby avoiding any potential future problems.

Can I change my Will in the future?

Yes. If your circumstances have changed and/or you believe that a specific term in your Will is no longer applicable, then it is possible to amend it by creating a Codicil. This is an important legal document and it is advisable to always consult a solicitor when you wish to amend your Will.

Who looks after my original Will?

Much depends on your requirements but often solicitors will retain your original Will. Alternatively your bank may agree to keep this for you, but at Curry Popeck we will not only store your Will, free of charge, but we will also, if you require, register it with the Certainty National Registry of Wills so that in the event of your death, the person administering your estate will be able to locate it.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document giving a person or persons (the attorney) the power to make decisions on someone else’s behalf when they lack the mental capacity to do so themselves.

Who can make a LPA?

Anyone aged 18 or over can make a LPA but you must make it as an individual; two or more people cannot make a joint LPA. A solicitor will be able to advise on the best options available.

Is there more than one type of LPA?

Yes. There is one that covers property and financial affairs which allows for bills to be paid, bank correspondence to be dealt with, the collection of benefits and even house sale, and one that deals with health and welfare whereby decisions affecting your medical treatment, care and medication can be made.

Who should be the attorney?

Much depends on your personal needs but often spouses or a close family member are appointed. Where an individual does not have any family members, a Trust corporation can be appointed. It is even possible to appoint more than one attorney or a substitute attorney. The advice of a solicitor should always be sought in these instances.

What can attorneys do for me?

This depends on whether or not you have restricted their powers. Irrespective of this, the Mental Capacity Act and Code of Practice are designed to provide protection for people who are unable to make decisions for themselves.

What should I do now?

If you would like us to prepare your Will or LPA, simply call or email us and we would be happy to discuss your requirements in a friendly and professional manner.

 

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Our offices will close for the festive period on Friday 21st December at 5.30pm and re-open on Wednesday 2nd January at 9.00am. We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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