Experts have reminded the British public of the importance of making arrangements in case of death or lack of capacity. This comes off the back of latest research which has shown that millions of pensioners do not have Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in place.
According to a recent study conducted by retirement specialists Just Group Plc, over 2 million people aged 65 and over in the UK do not have a Will. The figure for those without LPAs is more than double at 5 million.
The importance of having Wills cannot be understated. At its simplest, having a Will allows you to distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes. In addition, a Will can also be used to reduce the tax implications on your estate which then enables you to leave more to your loved ones.
LPAs allow you to appoint loved ones to manage your financial affairs and make decisions about healthcare on your behalf in the event that you lose capacity in the future. Without an LPA, your loved ones would require an application for deputyship to make those decisions on your behalf. The Deputyship process is far more cost onerous than the LPA and is also limiting in terms of its powers.
The reasons provided for not having LPAs in place has varied from not wanting to relinquish power over finances to not being in the right stage of life to do so. It is important to note that despite having an LPA in place, it would only kick in when a person loses capacity. This means that you are still free to continue making decisions about your health and finances (with no interference) whilst you have the capacity to do so.
Putting in place Wills and LPAs are things we leave for the future. However, the future can arrive unannounced, and it is important to be prepared. Speak with one of our experienced Wills and LPA solicitors today and together we can plan to protect you and your loved ones.
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