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Steering your future on life’s highway

10th August 2016

Steering your future on life’s highway

We would not dream of travelling abroad without travel insurance, but many people continue to travel on life’s highway without making arrangements to protect everything they have accumulated. Here are three documents that everybody should make to safeguard your family from distress.

The purpose of a will is to clarify your intentions to the people you leave behind.

We are living longer and are more likely to remarry with second or even third families to provide for. In your will you can appoint guardians for children, make charitable gifts and take advantage of tax planning opportunities.

Without a will the intestacy rules will determine who receives your assets this is where many disputes can arise.

A lasting power of attorney

By making a lasting power of attorney you can appoint somebody whom you trust to make decisions for you if you became mentally incapable in the future. This protects your relatives from the lengthy and expensive process of applying to the Court of Protection.

Your lasting power of attorney can cover health and welfare decisions such as where you live and what medical treatment you receive, as well as financial affairs such as selling your house, paying your bills and managing your bank account.

A letter of wishes

Your letter of wishes is stored alongside your will, and clarifies the reasons for the decisions in your will. This is vital if your will is likely to be unpopular with certain members of your family, who may decide to challenge it.

It can allay doubts about your mental capacity, and any concerns that you made the will under duress. Your will does not have space for such explanations, so this is your chance to make sure your wishes are followed.

For a confidential discussion on making a will, letter of wishes or a power of attorney, contact Susan Hall.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only.  They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published.  Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.