Will power

Making a will is a bit like starting a pension you know you should have one but they rarely feature very high on your list of priorities. However, it makes sense to give some thought particularly to making a will sooner rather than later as David Hill of Mogers Drewett explains.

For most of us making a Will is easy. It is a process that allows you to decide what you would like to happen to your assets when you are gone. Contrary to what you may think it is not a morbid process, in fact in many ways it is enlightening, as you can relax knowing that if something happens to you, there are clear instructions left setting out what you would wish to happen next. Essentially, a Will outlines who you would like to inherit your property, what you would wish each person to receive (monetary or otherwise), who should act as a guardian for your children if needs be and who you want to carry out your wishes. Everyone’s circumstances are different and by making a Will you ensure you are in the driving seat, as without one the law determines what happens. This could mean decisions are taken that you may not have wanted as well as causing your family hassle and unnecessary costs.

A Will can also help you protect and look after your business. You can ensure a smooth handover of your business and prevent problems for any partners, shareholders or employees that you may have.

It is especially important to have a Will in place where your personal life is concerned to ensure your partner or spouse inherits what you want them to. Under the current law, if you are unmarried or living with your partner this does entitle them to an automatic right to your estate regardless of how long you have been living together. If you have children from this relationship, they, rather than your partner, will inherit everything when they reach 18, which may not be what you would like to happen. It is also worth noting if you are separated, but not divorced, your estranged spouse may receive all of your estate.

When making a Will you should also consider putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). While Wills mean that after your death your estate will go to the people or organisations you choose, a LPA will ensure your affairs are managed how you want while you are still alive. In plain terms a lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint people (your “attorneys”) to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to or if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.   There are two types of LPA – the first allows your attorney to manage your investments, savings and property and the second covers health and welfare, which allows decisions to be made about your medical treatment or where you may live.   You can choose to may either or both.

Look upon the process of making a Will or an LPA as an insurance policy, something that gives you the assurance that, no matter what happens in the long run, your estate and personal affairs will be conducted as you wished.

If you would like to talk to Mogers Drewett about making a Will or putting in place a Lasting power of Attorney please contact David Hill.

Mogers Drewett

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