Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of answers to some of the most common questions that we have been asked
It is common practice for high street banks to freeze withdrawals from a joint account if one of the account holders becomes mentally incapacitated, even for spouses.
When a joint account holder becomes mentally incapable the other joint account holder does not have the automatic right to access the account unless a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney is already in place. Without the power of attorney in place a “Deputy” is appointed following an application to the Court of Protection which can cost thousands and can take months.
Why do I need a Health and Welfare LPA for my husband – surely the Dr would keep me informed and allow me to decide the next steps?
If you do not have an LPA in place to deal with your Health and Welfare matters, you are at a high risk of having strangers make decisions for you on your behalf.
Your family and friends and even your spouse may have no power to stop them. Other examples to name a few are:-
- You may be resuscitated against your wishes
- Social Services could make decisions about where your live and the care you require
- The Court of Protection may have to become involved with decision making which can be very expensive
A – The cost of Funerals are increasing year on year which means the average cost of a funeral in 2019 was £4,202 and at the given rate would cost £6,206 by 2028. You can ‘lock’ in the price of the funeral today.
No – you can spread the cost over 12 month, 5 years or 10 years meaning its an affordable monthly amount.
As long as you have paid over 12 months of premiums then the plan will be paid off meaning no further money is owed.
One approach to ensure your estate passes down the bloodline of your family is to include a Trust in your Will.
When you have both died some or all of your estate can pass into your Trust. Your chosen Trustees (These can be your children) will manage the Trust fund.
Assets held in the Trust are protected during your children’s lifetime from third party interference, one example may be divorce. This means that it can preserve as much of your legacy as possible after you are gone to pass to your grandchildren.
Yes it is possible. If you are a couple, you may be able to protect all or part of your estate by using a Trust within your Will. This is a specialised area so please do not hesitate to contact us for professional Will Writing advice to ensure it is appropriate for your circumstances.
How can I make sure that my family do not have to go through the pain of getting Probate for the sale of my property?
You can put a Lifetime Trust in place which is a separate and additional document to your Will, it is put into place now during your lifetime and not on your death. Any assets you have named within your Lifetime Trust will not form part of Probate and therefore reducing potential cost, stress and delay for your loved ones. A Lifetime Trust is not necessarily the most suitable option for your circumstances so please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
We have children from previous marriages, what can we do to make sure they receive part of our Estate but without my new husband being left without a home?
You could set up your Will so that upon your death, your own share of the house and your other assets can pass into a Life Interest Trust for your husband’s benefit. This would ensure that he has the right to the income generated by any funds as well as still being able to live in the property held in Trust. The underlying capital would be protected for the benefit of your own children, and passed to them when your husband dies.
A single Will is £149.00, a Mirror Will (for a couple) £250.00 inclusive of VAT. If you wish to have a Trust within your Will this would add an additional fixed cost, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a quotation.
My child has a disability and therefore vulnerable, I’m worried about what happens to her inheritance when I die – what can I do to protect her?
By including a Disabled Persons Trust in your Will, you can provide your disabled child with an inheritance, safe in the knowledge that the money will be managed by your chosen Trustees. Without a Trust in place your child’s means-tested benefits may stop.
Using a Will Trust can help you to look after a disabled relative in the future so that it does not affect their benefits.
If your loved one is vulnerable or lacks capacity, a Will Trust can also help:
- protect them from the risk of financial abuse
- support them if they need someone to manage their money
My son is wealthy already. When he inherits my estate how will this affect his taxable estate when he dies?
You can put a Trust within your Will so that your son’s inheritance can continue to be within the Trust during his lifetime. Any monies remaining in the Trust when he dies from this legacy should not be added to his own estate value for tax purposes.
Getting a divorce does not automatically revoke your existing Will, it is important to write a new Will to ensure your assets are distributed as you want.
The old Enduring Power of Attorney only covers your Property & Financial matters, it does not cover your Health & Welfare decisions.
The old Enduring Power of Attorney can only be registered and used if you have lost your mental capacity. To make things easier, you may wish to make a new Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs as, you can register it immediately so that your attorneys can assist if you are physically unable to get to the bank, building society or Post Office etc.
In this situation we would always involve a medical professional such as your GP who will often carry out a Capacity Report to decide if you are of sound enough mind to set up the Lasting Power of Attorney. It is therefore always advisable to get your Lasting Power of Attorney documents in place whilst you have full mental capacity.
No. Your beneficiaries in your Will should not be a witness to you signing it. The spouse or civil partner of the beneficiary should not be a witness either. If they do witness your Will, they will be disinherited.
It is a good idea to tell your Executor where your original Will is stored. You may want to give them a copy of your Will for their safekeeping too. When you die, your Executor will need to locate your original Will.
Unmarried partners and couples that co-habit have no automatic entitlement to any of the estate of the other partner. The only way to protect against this situation is to write a Will.
If you die without a Will in place, your estate will be distributed according to the “Laws of Intestacy”. These laws include a specific list of people who it says should benefit from your estate, however this list may not contain the people you wish to inherit.
There’s no limit to the number of attorneys you can appoint on a Lasting Power of Attorney. Some people only have one, others have more, but the normal number is three or four.
In the vast majority of cases, you’ll need to apply for Grant of Probate before you can settle someone’s affairs. However, it may not be necessary if the deceased’s estate was worth less than £15,000, or if their assets were held jointly and are passing to a surviving spouse or civil partner.
Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died, which generally means clearing their debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their Will.