Whilst it is not something that most of us would like to think about, the Covid 19 situation has brought into sharp focus the need to think about succession planning and prepare a will and lasting powers of attorney.
The Sunday Times on 22 March 2020 reported that law firms have witnessed a soaring demand for will services. People are spending time at home, speaking to their families, and thinking about elderly relatives as well as young children.
By making a will:
- you (rather than the Government) will decide who gets your assets,
- you (rather than the Government) will decide who administers your estate,
- you have an opportunity proactively to tax plan,
- you can appoint guardians of your choice if you have young children,
- you can provide for dependants if you have any, and
- quite significantly in these times, make provision for charities of your choice.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
These allow attorneys you appoint to make decisions on your behalf if you become mentally incapacitated. There are two types: (1) health and well-being; and (2) property and financial.
If you are running a business or are director of a company, you should also think about making sure you have plans in place if you are not there, so that the business can continue, hopefully after the Covid-19 situation settles down.
Another important thing to think about is your digital assets and accounts. Think about your Facebook, LinkedIn, Spotify, Apple, photograph, email, and other electronic accounts. You should think about giving somebody authority to deal with these if you are not able to do so. Maybe you should keep your usernames and passwords with your will.
People may be worried about meeting with us face-to-face in order to discuss and prepare such documents. In most cases, however, we will be able to do everything over the telephone and by email including, taking initial instructions, sending drafts by email, discussing the terms with you, making any necessary changes, and guiding you through the signing and execution process.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above. We are happy to help.