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.
After 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.