WILLS & PROBATE SERVICES
It’s worth considering that any of these transactions should be preceded by discussing a new will whether you have purchased a new property, undergone a separation/ divorce or changed how you hold your property.
A change in circumstances may even make previous wills invalid, such as marrying or remarrying. Therefore, it is very important that your last wishes of how your estate is to be distributed, provide clarity and certainty for those left behind.
We offer advice and guidance on planning your future to avoid financial stress on a grieving family at a very emotional time.
The Law Society says 'making a will won't kill you'. We can confirm they are right. For all those superstitious people who might have been worried, we suggest they pluck up courage and make one before it is too late.
The real name for these is 'Advance Directive'. The purpose is to give guidance to doctors and family as to your wishes about resuscitation before it is too late to express them.
Powers of Attorney
Nobody likes to think about the possibility of a family member losing mental capacity and being unable to help with their finances.
Loss of mental capacity and the difficulty in dealing with financial affairs can put an added strain on family members trying to help out.
We offer a sensitive, caring and compassionate approach to discussing these matters and putting them in place before the urgent need arises, offering peace of mind for all family members.
An attorney is a person appointed by you to act on your behalf and is authorised to sign documents that otherwise would have needed your signature. Traditionally, solicitors were also called 'attorneys - at - law', although the expression survives in the USA it does not tend to be used in the UK.
It is possible to appoint anyone to carry out steps (not necessarily in court) on your behalf under the Powers of Attorney Act 1971. You can limit the power you give if you wish.
In 1985 there was a development designed to allow a personal attorney to continue acting on your behalf (and in your place) even after you lost your ability to withdraw the power by reason of a failure in your mental capacity. The Enduring Powers of Attorney were devised. If you lost capacity, these Enduring Powers of Attorney were to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
The most recent development is that the Enduring Powers of Attorney can no longer be signed after 2007 and in their place, Lasting Powers of Attorney may be used.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) must be registered with the OPG before they can be used by the appointed attorney
However ordinary powers of an attorney can continue to be used although it must be remembered they become void if a person loses capacity.
Enduring Powers of Attorney may still be used if they were signed before the 1st October 2007.
Probate / Letters of Administration
We offer advice and guidance to executors or administrators whether from start to finish or on a limited assistance basis. We can compile a list of assets and liabilities draft the relevant tax forms, obtain a Grant of Probate and distribute the estate.
We can alleviate the stress and pressure of family members appointed as executors and help to bring the distribution of the estate to a smooth completion.
For more information on the 'Wills and Probate Services' team at Bird & Daniels please click below: