To Will or not to Will?
Unfortunately, recent times have brought the importance of making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney to the forefront of people’s minds.
I often hear people say that they are ‘too young’ or ‘do not have sufficient assets’ to make a Will, and although these statements might be true in that specific moment in time, we don’t have a crystal ball to know what the future might hold.
You may inherit a large sum of money, or you may win the lottery – although I am not proposing that by making a Will you’re more likely to win the lottery of course!
We have also seen that illnesses and accidents are not ageist and they can affect anyone at any age, therefore being ‘too young’ should not be a deterrent.
A Will is a legally binding document which states who can manage, and who will benefit from, your estate upon your death. This can also include how you would like any business assets to be handled.
It’s your opportunity to set out the distribution of your estate and ensure that your wishes are followed. Failure to complete a Will means your estate will be distributed as per the Intestacy Rules, which could be very different to your wishes.
Whilst a Will states what happens to your estate upon your death, Lasting Powers of Attorney states who can make decisions for you during your lifetime.
These can be used if you lose mental capacity, or if you’re unable to make the decision at that particular time due to being out of the country on holiday for example (although this seems like a foreign concept in the current climate – excuse the pun).
Lasting Powers of Attorney can cover your personal finances, any business property and finances, and your health and welfare. These documents are invaluable and once completed, they can save your family, friends or business partners a lot of stress in the future.
I often describe Lasting Powers of Attorney as an insurance document, put into place when you do not necessarily need it, but it is there to help in case you do ever need it in the future.
If you would like to discuss Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney, please feel free to contact the Probate Team on 0113 207 0000 and one of the team will be happy to help.