Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Scared of Death or Just too scared to talk?

Discussing dying and making end of life plans remain taboo for many people across the UK, according to a recent survey from the Dying Matters Coalition.
The Death ConversationThe poll of 2,000 adults indicates that only 21% of people have discussed their end of life wishes.
Only a third said they had written a will and just 29% had let loved ones know of their funeral wishes.
And 51% of respondents said they had not made their partner aware of their end of life wishes.
The chief executive of the Dying Matters Coalition, Claire Henry, said: "Dying is one of life's few certainties, but many of us appear to be avoiding discussing it or in denial altogether.
Talking more openly about dying and planning ahead is in everyone's interests and once the subject has been broached in a family the taboo soon disappears and the family can do some proper planning.
The planning should always include Wills and Lasting Powers of attorney, but could also include planning for long term care, wealth planning across multiple generations and funeral plans. Often these questions are best answered by a professional which is where Will & Probate Services can help.
We offer impartial advice about all aspect of later life planning and are happy to visit you and your family at home at a time to suit you.

Take the big step and have the ‘Death Conversation’ with your loved ones, then turn to us to put your plans into force – Call us 01778 382723, e-mail advice@will-probate.co.uk or visit our website www.will-probate.co.uk    

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Making a Will - A Clients View

I normally blog my own thoughts, but recently I did Wills for a local writer and her partner. She very kindly wrote about the experience from her perspective - 

Professional Will Advice
Writing a will is a stressful event, just thinking about what is going to happen after you pass away can fill you with dread. In my situation I knew it would not be straight forward as both my partner and I have children from previous relationships and investments from years ago. Once we started to discuss our options the conversation got a little heated as we found that we needed to protect our offspring. I spoke to Nick Ash at Wills & Probate Services for a little advice and assistance, which he was happy to give.

Nick had a very calming effect on the situation and gave us all of our various options and guided us with his wealth of experience. We learnt two things that day, one was that there were at least half a dozen considerations we had not thought about that would have had a huge impact on our final will and testament and two, there are answers to even the most difficult of questions and solutions to what we perceived as tricky dilemmas. Once we understood what we needed to achieve and what variables could potentially be involved, we could see so much more clearly.

The conversation with Nick was invaluable to us and our outcome was a carefully thought out Will that gave us both protection and more importantly, gave us peace of mind that after we have gone, the family can focus on grieving rather than fighting or worrying about our finances.
Lasting Power of AttorneyAfter speaking with Nick about our Wills, we also discussed the importance of care for elderly parents and what the implications are if anything sudden were to happen to any of them, this lead to a conversation about Lasting Powers of Attorney. This is a document that is signed, ensuring that if anything were to happen whereby they became incapacitated, the right person would have the say so with regards to their care, their home and their finances. Nick explained “without this legal document assets could potentially be frozen for months whilst you wait for a Court Decision and care choices can be made by the local authority without them consulting the family.” He went on to show us that the costs involved in applying for the appropriate court order can be ten times the cost of putting in place the Lasting Power of Attorney documents.

The financial implications without a LPA document are massive. You will not be able to pay any of their bills like electricity, water or even food as every time you require funds you will need to apply to the court for permission and this can sometimes take up to six weeks. If your parent requires full time care, again, you won’t be able to access funds to pay for this which can result in families having to find up to £700 per week to fund a care package until the court sees fit to release the funds.

We should all have a Will of some sort and if it is something you keep putting off, like we did, it is not nearly as scary as you think. contact Nick Ash now on 01778 382723 or email advice@will-probate.co.uk or via his website www.will-probate.co.uk