Ella came to see me a few weeks ago to discuss her parent’s (Sarah & George) financial situation. George was a businessman who had recently retired. He was an independent and financially prudent man who took charge of his affairs and, as a result, Ella had assumed that he had everything in hand.
Unfortunately George became ill and Ella discovered that he had not made a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney, and neither had Sarah. In order to sort out their finances Ella needed to apply to the Court of Protection to issue a deputyship order – a costly and invasive process – and we had to apply for a Statutory Will on his behalf.
These expensive measures could have been avoided had George made a Will or LPA whilst he had capacity. Through a Lasting Power of Attorney he could have given authority to an attorney (Sarah, Ella or a trusted friend) to assist him with his finances – paying bills, receiving his pension etc. without the need to apply to the Court of Protection. By writing his Will himself George could have determined exactly how he wanted his finances to be divided, and who he wanted to benefit ensuring that assets were split in a tax-efficient manner.
Unfortunately this advice came too late for George and Ella, and putting off planning for later-life is a common problem. Families assume that an elderly relative has everything in order, only to discover too late that important legal safeguards have been missed. If you are unsure what arrangements have been made, make sure you discuss these important issues with your parents so that you can make preparations well in advance to avoid extra costs and difficulties.
If you would like discuss future planning in a free initial consultation contact Rosalind Watchorn Solicitors today to discuss your situation with a member of our specialist will-drafting and later-life planning team. Telephone 0114 229 0160 to arrange an appointment with one of our solicitors.