Don’t sleep on it !

Feet under duvet in bed

We probably all understand that we should have a Will but the reality is that most of us don’t have one, especially younger people.

It’s important to understand what will happen to our estate if we die without a Will (intestate).

Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you have not made a valid Will, your property will pass according to the Law of Intestacy. This may not be what you would have wished.

In any event it is likely to take longer to finalise than if you had made a Will. During this time your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate. It can lead to arguments and distress for your relatives.

Here is some food for thought if you don’t have a Will.

IF YOU ARE SINGLE
You might want your estate divided amongst friends, relatives and charities of your choosing and in the proportions you want.

Amy Winehouse died intestate

Amy Winehouse Didn’t Have a Will, But Did Have Many Millions

At the age of 27 and after having a hugely successful career from a very young age, no one advising Amy Winehouse thought it prudent to put in place some sensible steps that should she unexpectedly pass away her wishes for her fortune would be taken care of.

Without a will, you have no say about who inherits your legacy, and you also lose control over how and when they receive it.  For example, did Amy Winehouse want her older brother, Alex, to inherit anything?  He doesn’t, because she had no will.

In addition, wealthier individuals lose the ability to do estate-tax avoidance planning.  For many families, probate court can often be a breeding ground for family fights, and this is especially true when there is no will.

Wills do not cost much to have prepared.  No adult with any level of assets should be without one, especially someone with millions, no matter what their age.  In fact, for most people a will is only the beginning of a comprehensive estate plan, but it’s a good start.

BASIC ONLINE WILL

SINGLE PERSON WILL
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Do I need a Will ?

Caring family down syndrone

Four reasons why you need a Will.

  • A Will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die – without a Will the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
  • If you don’t write a Will, everything you own will be shared out in a standard way defined by the law – which isn’t always the way you might want.
  • A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind.
  • Writing a Will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.

If you are over 18 you should have a Will. If you are young and single then a basic Will is probably fine.  Please, why not use our Basic Will form below and you will have a professionally prepared Will for very little cost.

BASIC ONLINE WILL

SINGLE PERSON WILL
£49
£ 29
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A Will becomes more important as you get older and take on more responsibilities. Your Will should always be reviewed and amended as you progress through life and your circumstances change.

If you are in a relationship such as married, civil partnership or unmarried couple then consider  Mirror Wills. These are  virtually identical Wills where one member of the couple leaves their estate to other in the event of their death.

BASIC ONLINE WILL

MIRRORED WILL
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What is a Will ?

Your will tells people two very important things:

  • Who should have your money, property and possessions when you die.
  • Who will be in charge of organising your estate and following the instructions you leave in your Will – this person is called your ‘executor’, and you can name more than one person if you want to.

You can also use your will to tell people about any other wishes you have, like instructions for your burial or cremation.

You can appoint executors  will do their best to make sure your wishes are followed, as long as they don’t involve breaking the law. Although it might not always be possible for the executors to carry out your instructions.  For example, a person you want to leave something to might die before you do, but if you have a Will there’s a better chance of things happening the way you want.

A Will has to be legally valid. Your will doesn’t have to be on special paper or use a lot of legal language.

A document is a valid will as long as it:

  • Says how your estate should be shared out when you die.
  • Was made when you were able to make your own decisions and you weren’t put under pressure about who to leave things to.
  • Is signed and dated by you in the presence of two adult, independent witnesses, and then signed by the two witnesses in your presence – the witnesses can’t be people who are going to inherit anything from you (or their husband/wife or civil partner )

Oakwood Estate Planning Ltd  can advise and guide you as to the best options for you. Get in touch today and it’s sorted.

 

Why choose a Pre Paid Funeral Plan

Oakwood Estate Planning Ltd

How Pre-Paid funeral plan helps protect you against raising funeral costs.

You don’t need us to tell you that everything seems to go up in price every year. Unfortunately it’s just the same with funeral cost.

If, in 2004, you had put £1920 (then average cost of funeral) into a deposit savings account, then you would have seen descry of to about £2177 over the following 12 years.

However, I was the same period, the average cost of funerals has increased dramatically to £3897.

But because this plan prepaid funeral agreed funeral directors services at today’s cost, you are unaffected by any future rate price raises on those fees.

Average cost of a basic funeral

In addition to this, there is also an allowance for disbursements including in this suit applies from the outset that this figure is indexed which enables the allowance to increase annually to help it combat rising disbursement costs.

With funeral costs raising in excess of the annual rate of inflation, it is an unfortunate fact that for many families, budgeting for funeral by traditional means may no longer be sufficient to cover the cost.

According to Bank of England the current rate of inflation is 3% by comparison according to Sun life cost of dying report 2017 the average cost of basic funeral rose from £3897 in 2016 to £4078 in 2017 an increase of 4.7% this means that over the last year average basic funeral cost have reason well in excess of inflation.

A real alternative to saving for your funeral

A Pre-Paid plan like this can offer a better financial option than putting money in a savings account to pay for  future funeral costs.

Since 2004 funeral costs have soared but interest paid on savings accounts has remained very low. The amount of money which would have paid for a funeral back then, plus the small amount of interest and of the years would not cover the cost of average funeral  today. Your family would be left with substantial extra amount to fund, (at today’s calculation are approximately £2000) quite apart from having to access your saving accounts to pay for the funeral.

Bayarmaa Howard
Managing Director

Call 07903 460472

Lasting Power of Attorney Explanation

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney ?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and lack mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.

There are 2 types of LPA:

1. Health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney.

This Lasting Power of Attorney , ( LPA ) gives an attorney the power to make decisions on areas, such as:

  • Your daily routine, for example washing, dressing, eating
  • Medical care
  • Moving into a care home
  • Life-sustaining treatment

2. Property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.

This Lasting Power of Attorney , ( LPA ) gives an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

  • Managing a bank or building society account
  •  Paying bills
  • Collecting benefits or a pension
  • Selling your home

The importance of having a Lasting Power of Attorney  ( LPA ) in place.

Lasting Power of AttorneyIt is a common misconception that people believe that their next of kin would automatically be able to take care of their affairs should mental capacity be lost, but this is not the case.  Failure to have an LPA in place will mean next of kin would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy – which is both costly and lengthy. You also run the risk that the person appointed by the Court to handle your affairs may not be the person you would have chosen.

Will you try to do it yourself?

You may have seen on recent adverts and on the radio this weekend, that the Daily Mail were offering a free Do It Yourself Will kit, for everyone that purchased their newspaper. You may also have seen that Asda have started selling DIY Lasting Powers of Attorney kits. I could sit here for days talking about all of the reasons why it is an absolutely disastrous decision to create your own DIY Wills or LPAs! But I will instead be brief and to the point.

All too often we hear about cases of people creating DIY Wills, or even DIY Lasting Powers of Attorney, but with catastrophic effects when the person passes away or loses their mental capacity, because they were not qualified or knowledgeable enough to create these documents in the correct and most protective way. The trouble is, you don’t know what it is you don’t know!

The best way to have your Will contested at the time of your death, is by creating it yourself. This would give the person wanting to contest the Will, enough ammo to start suggesting that you didn’t have mental capacity at the time of creation, or that you didn’t understand what you were doing, or that it wasn’t executed correctly. All of which could leave your family and the people you wanted to benefit from your Estate, high and dry! Which is not what you would want to have happen!

The best analogy I could use, is that I wouldn’t attempt to perform surgery on myself, just because I did a Google search and Wikipedia told me how to do it. So why would you attempt to do your own Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney? It is just as important! They are critical, legal documents that must accurately reflect your wishes, in order to ensure that the right money, goes to the right people, at the right time.

 

So please, whether it is with ourselves, or whether it is with someone else – consult a professional. Don’t leave your families fate in the hands of chance. Let’s make sure your planning is completed correctly now, whilst you are fit and able to do so. Let’s do it once and do it right.

Bayarmaa Howard
Managing Director

Call 07903 460472