What is a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney for?
A Will is a document which sets out what you want to happen to your assets when you dieIf you don’t have a will the “intestacy rules” will be used, which set out who your estate will go to. Briefly, there is an order of priority which is spouse (or civil partner), children, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunties and uncles and counsins. If none of these people exist your estate goes to the Crown (as the Duchy of Lancaster if you live in Lancashire). Making a will is your chance to say what you want to happen.
Essential if you want certain people to inherit your assets when you die. Don’t presume it will simply pass to who you want it to when you die if you have not made a Will. It is also sensible to have a Will professionally drafted by a solicitor rather then relying on an unqualified will-drafting service or a ‘do-it-yourself’ Will pack. A poorly considered and drafted Will could create problems when you die and it is very difficult to correct a mistake in a Will after someone has died.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) lets someone else make decisions for you when you are still alive but can’t do so yourself, perhaps because of an accident or illness. LPAs have become far more common than they once were. People are living longer but with longer life comes issues of dementia and loss of capacity and decision-making ability. LPAs create an easy solution for these issues provided you don’t leave it too late to have one drawn up, for example when you have already lost capacity. It is possible to apply to the court to have someone appointed to act on your behalf after you have lost capacity but this is a longer process and can be significantly more expensive, possibly even several thousands of pounds.
What is the difference between a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Will only takes effect when you die. You can appoint who you want to handle your affairs when you die, these are called executors. A Will also sets out who is to inherit your assets, this can include specific gifts or a general gift of everything to one or more person.
There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), one for health and welfare decisions and the other property and financial decisions. Under each of these you appoint one or more person to act on your behalf and make decisions as though they are you, these are referred to as your attorney(s). These are often family members or friends. You can appoint a professional attorney to act for you but it is not necessary and it is likely to incur and ongoing cost to you.
The health and welfare LPA allows your attorney(s) to make decisions about your medical care, social and domestic care needs, nutrition and potentially life-saving treatment. The property and finances LPA allows your attorney(s) to make decisions about your property such as whether it needs to be sold (it would also give them the power to sell) or rented to fund your care needs, pay bills, handle your bank accounts and deal with day to day living costs. An LPA has effect in your lifetime when you are no longer able to make certain decisions on your own. An LPA ceases to have effect when you die and is not a substitute for a Will, similarly naming someone as an executor in your Will does not give them any power to make decisions for you during your lifetime.
What information is needed to make a will and LPA?
The main questions for a will are:
Who do you want to be your executor(s)? This is the person (or people) you want to sort out your affairs once you have died. For most people a close member of the family is best, or perhaps a very good friend. You can chose a professional executor such as a solicitor and this can be a good idea if there is nobody else around to do it or if you think there will be a dispute about your will, but a solicitor will charge for being an executor. Are there to be any specific gifts, such as a piece of jewellery to a particular person? What is to happen to everything else (often called the “residue” of an estate)? You don’t need to list everything you own. A common clause is for everything to go to a spouse, and if the spouse is not alive for everything to go to the children. Less common provisions include whether you want to ask for a particular type of funeral, or appoint guardians for children.
The main questions for an LPA are:
Do you want an LPA for “Property and Affairs” or for “Health and Welfare” or both?
Who you want to be your attorney or attornies (ie the people you want to make decisions for you).
Are there any people you want to be told when the LPA is registered?
What are Glassbrooks’ charges for Wills and LPAs?
We like to be open about our fees. . The fees quoted for wills are presuming you want a straightforward will without complicated trusts and that you do not need tax advice.Single Will: £150 plus VAT (£180)
Mirror Wills: £250 plus VAT (£300)
LPA (single): £250 plus VAT (£300)
LPA (both) £350 plus VAT (£420)
LPA (single) & Will £325 plus VAT (£390)
LPA (both) & Will £475 plus VAT (£570)
** If you decide to register you LPA immediately there is a fee of £110 per LPA payable to the Office of the Public Guardian. Our fees will not increase if you require us to register your LPA immediately.
Can I call and discuss Wills and LPAs over the phone?
Of course. We encourage people to call us and discuss their needs without any pressure or obligation to instruct us. Call our team on 01253 643700 and we will be happy to talk you through the various options available to you.