The Christmas Present that Can Help Protect Your Family’s Future
07 December 2017
As Christmas approaches, many of us will be focusing on buying gifts and preparing for the festive season. It’s easy to get caught up deliberating over which gifts that your loved ones might enjoy, but it’s also worth taking into account what the future might hold and what might benefit them the most in the long-run.
Something that you might want to consider this December is how you can help secure the future of your family with a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. It might be the most important gift you buy this Christmas.
Why is it Important to Have a Will?
Making a Will ensures that your wishes are clear about where you want your property, money and possessions to go after you die. It might seem like a strange time of year to be thinking about such morbid matters, but it’s important to plan ahead to make sure that your wishes are carried out.
If you die without a valid Will in place, then the law decides who inherits from you. This is done in line with the Rules of Intestacy. These rules are strict, often not accommodating modern family arrangements and some of your close family members could be completely disregarded as a result.
If you have children who are under the age of 18, have you considered who would look after them if you’re no longer around and they have no other care-giver? If you died without leaving a Will, then other people will need to decide who should be responsible for caring for your children. However, if you make a Will then this will provide you with an opportunity to name the people you trust to care for your children on your behalf after you die.
Why is it Important to Have a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you suffer an accident or a disease such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia, which means that you can no longer express your wishes or manage your own affairs, who make decisions for you? Many people wrongly believe that if something like this happened their family would be able to automatically step in and take control of things for them.
Sadly this is not the case. No one can make decisions for you about your finances or health and welfare without first being given legal authority to do so. This includes your children, siblings and even your spouse. Too many people don’t realise this until it’s too late.
You can appoint someone you trust to make these decisions for you under a Lasting Power of Attorney. This means that if something happens which means you are no longer able to make (or express) your wishes, then this person will be able to step in straight away to take care of matters on your behalf.
If you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and something unexpected happens, then no one would be able to step in and take control of things for you. This means that no one would be able to access or manage your finances, pay your utility bills and other household costs or deal with organisations on your behalf.
The only way to resolve this would be for someone to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy. This process is expensive and can take months. In the meantime no one would be able to take care of matters for you. Your family could end up spending substantial sums of money on the Court of Protection application while also fronting costs to ensure that you are still provided for while not being able to access your money.
You can prevent your family from having to endure undue stress and costs by planning ahead. Safeguard you and your family’s future this Christmas by making a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney whilst saving up to 28% and supporting Cancer Research UK.
For details see Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney Estate Planning Packages.