Our own Rachel Roche sits down with Andrew Gray from Truth Legal to discuss Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, the Court of Protection, and many other bits and pieces about planning for the future.
The main points we cover
If you would like to listen to any particular points in our discussion, skip to the following times in the podcast:
- Why make a will? – 1.57
- Funeral wishes – 3.00
- Where is a will kept? – 3.31
- Keeping your will updated – 4.54
- Wills and marriage – 5.58
- Will challenges/Can you stop a will from being challenged? – 7.00
- Benefits of using a solicitors/getting advice/When should you use a solicitor? – 8.49
- Lasting Powers of Attorney – what are they and how can they help you? – 11.24
- Lasting Powers of Attorney and Dementia – 14.22
- The Court of Protection – what is it and what does it do? – 16.40
- Top Tips for Estate planning – 19.02
- Finding out more – 20.55
Everybody aged 18 or over should make a Will. After you are gone, a Will puts your wishes into effect. It can allow you to: choose who will receive your money and property; specify who should look after your young children; and arrange your affairs so that you can save as much tax as possible.
Once a Will is made it shouldn’t just be forgotten about. It should be kept updated to match events and changes in your life. In particular, getting married will cancel your previous Wills except in certain circumstances.
Your Will must be discoverable for it to take effect. If no-one knows about it or finds it then it may as well have never been written! For this reason, any Wills that we handle at Roche Legal are registered with Certainty – The National Will Register. We do this whether we have prepared them or have just been entrusted to keep them.
It is possible for Wills to be challenged, and the effects of them altered. To find out more, have a look at some of our blog posts on this subject:
- Where There’s a Will Challenge, Who Gets Their Way?
- How Long Does Someone Have to Challenge my Will?
- Ilott v Mitson: The Supreme Court Ends a Long Will Dispute
Using a solicitor
There is no legal requirement to use a solicitor for making your Will or when dealing with a loved one’s estate. However, we would always recommend that you use a solicitor for your Will and when you need help or advice in handling an estate. Anyone who holds the title ‘solicitor’ is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This means they must have met certain standards of qualification and training. Regulation also means clients have various legal protections if anything should go wrong.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to appoint certain people to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime – should you lose the capacity to make these decisions yourself. It can be a lot more difficult for loved ones to act for you or manage your affairs if you lose capacity and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
There are two kinds of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Health and care; and
You may choose to make either one or both of these types of Power. In most situations, we recommend making both types at the same time as this will often allow you to save money on the fees involved.
For more information, have a look at some of our blog posts on Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- What happens to a Lasting Power of Attorney when someone Dies?
- Lasting Powers of Attorney: Can I Sell Property on Someone’s Behalf?
- The Importance of Choosing Attorneys who will Cooperate
The Court of Protection
The Court of Protection generally acts to safeguard vulnerable people who do not have the capacity to act or decide things for themselves. If a loved one loses capacity and has not made a Lasting Power of Attorney, there will be no one appointed who can make decisions on their behalf. However, you may be able to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy. Deputies are granted powers which are similar to those used by people appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, involving the Court of Protection can be a long and expensive process.
For more information, have a look at our blog post on acting as a Deputy.
Other Legal Resources
- Certainty – The National Will Register
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Dementia Friends
- Court of Protection
- Death Cafes