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Although nobody enjoys thinking about their death and its aftermath, it is unfortunately an inevitable fact of life and once again it is better to plan ahead for the security of your family, home, possessions and money.
Did you know that 70% of the UK population do not have a valid will? This means that their families’ financial future could become turbulent and result in several situations they may not want.
What happens if I haven't appointed a guardian?
When it comes to their children, people will go to any extent to protect them, but what if they aren’t around to do that anymore? If you and your partner have both passed away, who would bring up your child/ren for you? Most people assume that it will be an immediate family member who would take on the responsibility, but unfortunately, if your wishes, for who you want to become the legal guardian of the most important people in your life, have not been documented, they could end up in foster care. They are viewed as “at risk” because there is no responsible adult appointed to make decisions for them, such as consent to medical treatment. This leaves the courts with no choice to appoint a legal guardian for the safety of your child. So your children could end up in foster care, removed from their home and maybe even separated from their siblings. Of course your family could go to court and fight for guardianship but they may not win. Not only would this cost time and money to go to court to try and earn legal guardianship, the situation would also be very distressing and unsettling for your children.
What will happen to my assets and estate if there is no Will?
You may have heard the word ‘intestacy’ (when you gave not written a legally recognised will) this means you have not validly ‘disposed’ of your assets. This results in your assets being distributed according to a ‘legal formula’. It can be a long and complicated process to distribute these and not always to those assumed. This can cause rifts in the families where one party remembers being "promised" a particular heirloom.
Married/civil partner with children
Your partner will be entitled to at least the first £250,000 of your estate and all of your personal possessions (new rate from 1st Feb 2009). Any remaining funds or assets, including your house if it's in your sole name or as tenants in common, will be divided with half passing to your children when they reach age 18 and the other half is held in trust for your spouse/ civil partner for life.
Married/civil partner with no children
Your partner will be entitled to at least the first £450,000 and all of your personal possessions (new rate from 1st Feb 2009). Any remaining assets would be divided between your partner and any surviving relatives.
Unmarried/no civil partner with no children or grandchildren
Your estate will go to any other surviving relatives, according to a certain order. If you have no surviving relatives, your estate will go to the crown.
My family will grieve, can they grieve peacefully?
Without a Will, this can be a particularly stressful time for families having to locate a lifetime of paperwork and arrange for payments to be made once Probate has been granted. This process could take years. Wouldn't you much rather they could sit back and celebrate your life?
Who will know my burial wishes?
Although it is important to discuss your wishes for your funeral and any possible organ donation you may wish to happen, with your family. But it can be very painful and stressful for them to deal with their loss as well as locating a lifetime of paperwork and arrange for payments to be made once probate has been granted. It is not unusual for the process to take years. Wouldn't you much rather they could sit back and celebrate your life? For this reason it is important to make a legal documentation of your wishes
Leave a Will, leave your wishes
We hold our family, friends and home close to our hearts and we are more than sure that you do too. For this reason and for many others we have previously discussed (above), we believe it is highly important, in fact vital, to make sure you have your affairs in order. You will be pleasantly surprised to know not only are we mortgage brokers, we also offer specialist Will Writing, enabling us to make sure your wishes are not only fulfilled but that it also happens as smoothly, efficiently and stress free as possible. As we have also mentioned previously; it is very important that your will is kept in a safe place, where it will not be disturbed until your death or you wish to change it in any way. This is why we also offer a life time storage facility! Easy to find when needed but otherwise untouched for a one off fee!
Due to the fact that it is so important to take the time to write a will, we offer wills starting from £95, not a lot for peace of mind!
Please note that for will writing we act as introducers only. A recommended Will writer can be found on the RESOURCES Tab above.
Lasting Power of Attorney....Did you know?
As frustrating as it is, if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, be it health and welfare or property and financial affairs, a stranger could be appointed to make the decisions for you, regardless if your family are aware of your wishes.
Did you know that a Lasting Power of Attorney is equally as important as a Will?
The Alzheimer's Society predicts by 2021 over One Million will have dementia in the UK, therefore many more families will battle with the Court of Protection.
Early dementia is increasing for the age group 25 - 40
Loss of capacity leads to bank accounts and investments being frozen - Even Those In Joint Names!
Your family will have to apply to The Court of Protection; this is a Long, Expensive and Stressful process!
Here are two handy sites to find out more in depth about Lasting Power of Attorney;