Not many things are certain in life, but death is inevitable. Therefore, planning ahead is something that we should all think about. However, many feel uncomfortable with this topic, so this page has some information that will help to make this easier.
Planning Ahead – Making A Will
What Is A Will
A will is a legal document which allows you to direct how your estate should be dealt with after your death. It can deal with who will manage your finances, who is to look after any children and who you would like to benefit from your estate. As you can see it is an essentil element of planning ahead.
The Law Society has advised that you should also record any digital accounts in writing and store these together with your will.
The Social Embers Digital Legacy Toolkit will help you identify the accounts that need to be recorded, and provides you with a pro forma that can be stored with your will.
Death Without A Will
A person who dies without a will, will die intestate and the family will inherit in a certain predefined order.
If there are no family members then the estate will go to the crown.
When To Make A Will
You can make a will once you are 18 years old.
Any major life changes once you are an adult, such as entering into a relationship, having children, finishing a relationship are reasons to make or review a will. Tax and care home fee planning are also good reasons to review your will.
Planning Ahead with Social Embers
We offer many End of Life planning services
- The Life File: A simple way of recording the important details of your life efficiently and safely.
- Digital Legacy Toolkit: In addition to a will an important step is to identify and record your digital accounts.
- Online Digital Memorials
Our Directory includes details of solicitors and will writers, please click below to search the Social Embers Directory.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document in which you give one person or more, authority to make decisions or to act on your behalf. You decide who you wish to appoint and the documents may save you and your family a huge amount of time and hassle should you lose mental capacity.
You can give another person authority to act on your behalf whilst you have mental capacity, to make a decision in an Ordinary Power of Attorney. This could be useful, for example, if you are overseas or in hospital for a lengthy period of time.
You can also give someone the right to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity in a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
- Property and Financial Affairs – You can give authority to one or more nominee to manage your financial affairs.
- Health and Welfare – This document gives your nominee(s) authority to decide things such as where you live, what sort of medical care you receive including the possible refusal of life sustaining treatment.
Lasting Power of Attorney need to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian in order to be used.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Some people have an enduring power of attorney made before 2007. These documents are still valid and may be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian should you start to lose mental capacity.
How to Put A Legal Power of Attorney in Place
You can contact the Office of the Public Guardian for an information pack or use their website.
Getting good advice about these decisions is very important and you may wish to speak to a solicitor who will guide you in your particular circumstances and help you with planning ahead.
Advance Care Decision and Deputyship
Advance Care Decision
An Advance Decision states what medial treatment you may wish to refuse or consent to if you lose mental capacity in the future.
These are sometimes referred to as living wills, or advance statements.
Someone may apply to court on your behalf, if you have lost mental capacity, to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs, should you not be able to do so yourself.