Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
A Will is a legal document that puts you in control of determining how your assets (money, property and possessions) are distributed after your death. It offers you the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones will receive the inheritance you intended.
More than two thirds of people in the UK do not make a Will with the result that their estate is dissolved according to the law of intestacy – which might not see their assets allocated in the way they would wish.
Wilson Browne’s solicitors are aware that many people find this a difficult subject to discuss and will work sensitively and with integrity to help you safeguard your family’s future.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives the nominated attorney the right to make decisions on behalf of the person to whom it applies.
It is usually granted to safeguard the interests of someone who (temporarily or permanently) isn’t able to make decisions themselves on issues including finances, health and care.
These wide-ranging powers can be invaluable in enabling a relative or friend to support someone who is unable to manage their own arrangements. Due to the major implications of permitting someone to hold a power of attorney on your behalf, however, it is highly recommended that you take expert legal advice before making any decisions on this issue.
Why might a Power of Attorney be necessary?
You may want to set up a Power of Attorney on a temporary basis due to specific short-term circumstances. For example, you may be going into the hospital and want someone to pay your household bills on your behalf.
Sadly, you may be faced with circumstances such as a dementia diagnosis that means you will lose mental capacity in the future and require support permanently.
How can a Power of Attorney change a Will?
A lasting Power of Attorney for financial decisions can cover a wide range of issues, but this document does not allow your attorney to make changes to your Will.
If a change needs to be made to your Will, but you do not have sufficient mental capacity, then the lawyer dealing with this matter should refuse to assist you with drafting your Will as they can only take instructions from yourself.
However, your attorney can request to see a copy of your Will to ensure they are making decisions in your best interest, but there will need to be a specific clause within your Lasting Power of Attorney allowing them to do this.
If you do not have a Will and you do not have sufficient capacity to make a Will, then your family can approach a Solicitor for advice in relation to Statutory Wills. In order to make a Statutory Will, an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection, who will approve the suggested contents of the Will.
How can I ensure my estate will still be distributed as I wish should I lose mental capacity?
The most important thing anyone can do to have control over how their assets are allocated after their death is to make a Will.
Many people who have made a Will, however, worry that they may lose mental capacity in the future and will be unable to change the document to take account of any changes in their circumstances (for example, the value of their investments or property increasing, or the birth of new grandchildren).
There are a number of ways that you can help ensure your will remains fit for purpose in the future.
Future-proofing your Will
At Wilson Browne, our expert solicitors are adept at drafting Wills to take account of future changes. For example, the document could be drawn up to include any as yet unborn grandchildren, or for the terms of your Will to change should your estate increase in value.
Free will health checks
We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships with our clients so that we are able to form a true understanding of their priorities. As part of this commitment, we offer free Will health checks at periodic intervals to assess if your Will still reflects your wishes or if any changes are required.
In the sad event of you believing you may lose your mental capacity in the foreseeable future (such as receiving a dementia diagnosis), we recommend you get in touch to see if your Will needs amending.
Why is it important to plan for the future over my mental capacity?
Making a Will can be an effective way of ensuring that your assets are distributed in the way you wish following your death. You must have the sufficient mental capacity to draft the new Will.
Where can I find out more about drafting a Will or Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Just as Wills can be a highly emotional subject, so can the idea of one day losing your mental capacity.
Wilson Browne’s experience has shown, however, that by working closely with clients and offering expert advice, we can help provide them with the satisfaction of being able to safeguard the futures of themselves and their loved ones.
We offer face-to-face meetings at our offices in Corby, Higham Ferrers & Rushden, Kettering, Leicester, Northampton and Wellingborough and are happy to make home visits to clients with mobility issues.