A Will is the only way of legally controlling what happens to all of the things that belong to you, including your house and your money ('your Estate'), when you die. When someone dies without making a Will, their Estate will pass to their next of kin according to the law of intestacy. This does not always produce a desirable result. In Britain today, approximately 45% of marriages result in divorce and many parents no longer live as a couple. Second and third marriages are not uncommon and many women have children to more than one partner. The law of intestacy does not and in reality could not ever adequately cater for such complex family arrangements. Therefore, it is essential to make a Will to set out who should get what and in the case of infant children, who should look after them on the parents' death.
By making a special type of Will known as a property trust will, it may be possible to protect your estate from future care home fees. Critical to the successful operation of Property Trust Wills is the way in which you own your property. Most couples own their property as joint tenants. This means that when one of them dies the property will pass automatically to the survivor. If the survivor then has to go into care, the whole of the property may need to be sold to pay for the care home fees. It is possible to sever the joint tenancy, so that the property is owned as tenants in common. This means that you each own a distinct half share in the property. You can then dispose of your share in the property by your Will by making Property Trust Wills. Should the surviving co-owner then need to go into care, the local authority could only take into account that person's one half share of the property, rather than the whole.
A Lasting Power of Attorney ('LPA') is a legal document. It allows you to appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf as your 'attorney'. Your attorney can make legal decisions for you and handle your property and affairs either when you no longer wish to do so yourself, or when you no longer have capacity to do so. The most common type is a 'Property and Financial Affairs LPA', which gives your attorney the authority to deal with things such as operating bank and building society accounts, or buying or selling property. This LPA can give your attorney authority to deal with all of your property and finances, or only specified items, and can be used while you still have full mental capacity. The other type of LPA is a 'Health and Welfare LPA', which gives your attorney the authority to make decisions such as where you should live and what healthcare treatment you should receive, and can only be used when you no longer have mental capacity to make those decisions for yourself.
Our clients can expect:
This service operates throughout the year to offer free standards wills to people who are aged 55 years or over, and helps to raise much needed funds for a fantastic charity.
Please get in touch if you are 55 or older and you are interested in making a Will with us through this scheme.