We understand that Will writing is a delicate subject, and that drafting your Will can be a stressful and confusing task.
However, without a valid will you do not have control over who will inherit your assets, meaning your estate will be distributed according to law, and may well be inconsistent with your wishes.
We can visit you at home, hospital, care facility or hospice, or you can visit our office in Forest Hall if this is more suitable for you.
You can be assured of the high degree of skill and care required, and you will experience a thoroughly professional, confidential, and friendly service. We pride ourselves on our dedicated and bespoke services, which are tailored to your individual needs.
We will explain everything to you in detail, and provide you with a written Will commentary tailored to you, as well as meeting with you throughout the process to talk things through and ensure your peace of mind.
You can be assured of the high degree of skill and care required, and you will experience a thoroughly professional, confidential, and friendly service.
We pride ourselves on our dedicated and bespoke services, which are tailored to your individual needs. We will explain everything to you in detail, and provide you with a written Will commentary tailored to you, as well as meeting with you throughout the process to talk things through and ensure your peace of mind.
We also offer free storage of your Will and any other important documents such as the deeds to your property.
Why make a Will?
Without a Will you have no control over who will receive your assets or who will be in charge of distributing the same.
Every adult should make a will, but it is especially important if your circumstances are complicated, for example if you:
• have children;
• have been diagnosed with a serious illness;
• are married or separating after a marriage;
• co-habit, have a long term partner, or are in a same sex couple;
• have assets over £325,000;
• wish to specifically benefit or specifically exclude a family member;
• have retired.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) gives another person or persons (known as your attorney(s)) the authority to act for you if you are unable to do so yourself. That authority continues even if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
If you do not have an LPA in place and you lose mental capacity to make the best decisions, someone will need to make an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship in order to act on your behalf. This is an expensive and time consuming application, and usually takes several months to complete. This can of course be avoided by making an LPA while you have full capacity.
There are two types of LPA:
1. Property and financial affairs.
2. Health and welfare.
You can have either or both types of LPA.
An LPA for property and financial affairs allows your attorney to deal with your finances, for example to pay your bills, sell your property or investments to pay for care home fees, and operate your bank accounts.
Unless you specify otherwise in your LPA, your attorney can use your LPA while you still have capacity to make financial decisions yourself. If you allow your attorney to make decisions before you have lost mental capacity, it does not mean that they automatically take all financial decisions for you, it just means that they can take these decisions if you allow them to at the time. This can be helpful if you are unwell and cannot visit the bank, or if you go on holiday for an extended period of time.
An LPA for health and welfare allows your attorney to make decisions about matters such as your medical treatment, your diet, where you live, and how you spend your time.
Unlike the LPA for property and financial affairs, your attorney can only use it when you have lost the mental capacity to make decisions yourself.
Your attorney cannot make decisions about life-sustaining treatment unless you specifically allow this in the LPA. Life-sustaining treatment includes ventilation to help with breathing, feeding through a tube and resuscitation.
How do I make an LPA?
An LPA must be made using a specific form. Before completing the form, you should make sure that you have thought carefully about the three categories of people who will perform different roles in relation to your LPA:
People that will be notified before your LPA is registered; and
You will also need to consider the decisions that you would like the attorney(s) to make on your behalf, including how they will make those decisions and whether there should be any limits on what they can do.
The LPA must be registered before your attorney(s) can use it.
Who will act as my attorney(s)?
You must only appoint people that you can trust to act as your attorney(s).
You should consider practical issues such as whether it would be better to have an attorney who is geographically close to you (this might be less relevant, for example, for an LPA for financial decisions if you deal with all of your finances online). You should also consider the time, skills, and expertise that each attorney has in relation to what they may need to do.
It is possible to appoint more than one person to act as your attorney. You can also appoint replacement attorneys, which is useful as an insurance policy in case one of your attorneys cannot act.
A certificate provider is an impartial person who is qualified to act in one of two ways:
They are a professional (for example, a GP or your solicitor); or
They have known you for at least two years.
A certificate provider must be independent. For example, it is not possible for any of your attorneys, a member of your family, or a member of an attorney’s family to act in this capacity.
When completing and signing the form, the certificate provider will be certifying that:
You understand the meaning of the LPA.
You have not been put under pressure to make the LPA.
There has been no fraud involved in making the LPA (that is that there is no dishonesty or scam involved).
There is no other reason for concern.
If you choose to instruct us to draft your LPA, we will provide the certificate for you.
Using an LPA
Your attorney(s) can use a registered LPA for property and financial decisions either before you lose mental capacity (with your agreement) or afterwards. Your attorney(s) can only use a registered LPA for health and welfare after you have lost mental capacity.
When your attorney(s) start using the LPA, they may need to provide evidence of their authority to act for you to banks, utility companies, the local authority, your doctor, care homes and other third parties. The requirements of each individual or organisation will vary. For example, some may need to see the original registered LPA while others may only want a photocopy.
Your attorney(s) should avoid sending the original registered LPA by post to a third party and offer to supply an office or certified copy instead. Your attorneys can get office copies from the OPG at a cost of £35 per document. Alternatively, we are happy to provide you with a certified copy of an LPA you have made with us for £20.