New Year, New Organised You

29 Jan 2020

Was your New Year’s resolution to make a Will and Power of Attorney? The answer is probably not, but getting your affairs in order now will save a lot of time, money and stress for your loved ones in the long run.

It’s that time of year when we are full of New Year’s resolutions and making plans for a better, more organised and fulfilling year. One way to provide you with the peace of mind you are after is to make sure that your affairs are in order whether that be by making a Will, or reviewing your existing one and making Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Although we don’t like to think about it, we all want to make sure that should the worse happen, our family is able to cope. We want to make sure that we have done everything we can to help them at a time when they need our help and guidance most, and that we have given them all the tools necessary to take matters forward in a cost-effective and efficient way.

The Will writing process

Making a Will is a simple process, it is not as scary or as expensive as people make it out to be. You are in the driving seat and make all the decisions such as who you would like to appoint as your executors who will administer your estate once you have gone. You can appoint guardians for your minor children, and decide who you would like to leave your assets to, be that items of particular sentimental value, your share in a business or your house and bank accounts for example. Those cohabiting but unmarried, and those with second families are particularly vulnerable if no Will is in place.

Why making a Lasting Power of Attorney is important

Making Lasting Powers of Attorney, or reviewing your existing Power of Attorney arrangements is equally as important. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney you are ensuring that those you trust are able to make decisions on your behalf should you no longer be able to make those decisions for yourself.

Trusting someone to manage your finances and make decisions for you is never easy and can be frightening however, by choosing the right Attorney who must act in your best interests at all times, you are ensuring that should the worst happen, you are in good hands. Problems can arise if you are no longer able to manage your affairs or make decisions for yourself and you don’t have the appropriate legal paperwork in place. If decisions need to be made on your behalf then it will be up to the courts to approve someone (a deputy) to act for you. This is not only a time consuming and costly exercise but more importantly your deputy is not necessarily someone you would have chosen.

As a professional I have seen the difference being prepared makes to the ones you entrust to make decisions or leave behind. Surely making a Will and Power of Attorney is a New Year’s Resolution worth keeping?

Claire Radigois is a Senior Associate in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team at Trethowans in Salisbury. She can be contacted on 01722 426 919.

Author

Claire Radigois

Senior Associate