10 reasons you might need a Will

top 10 reasons you might need a will

I was at a Networking Meeting recently and a lady asked me ‘Why would I need a Will?  What times in my life should I think about it?”

Great question!

So, here’s my list of the top 10 times you might need our services;

  • You turn 18 – OK, slightly facetious one to start with, but for most people that’s the earliest they can make a Will, so why not draft it over your first legal pint?
  • You move in with someone – Renting or buying, it’s usually a sign that this relationship might be going somewhere.  If you’re serious enough about them to want to share a washing up rota, you might want to protect them in your Will. Unmarried couples don’t have the same protection under intestacy (see glossary) as married folk.
  • You have children – This one should be a no-brainer.  In your Will, if you have children under 18, you make provision for how they will be cared for in the event of your death.  You appoint Guardians who will continue to bring your kids up.  You can leave instructions for them, and you can choose to leave a gift of money for them if they carry out their duties.
  • You get married – If you had a Will before marriage, the chances are, it’s now invalid! Of course, if you’re reading this with a view to getting married, we can draft your Will with a contemplation of marriage clause that legalises it.  Seriously, the law does afford you a bit of protection once you’re married in terms of intestacy, in that your spouse gets the first £250k, but you probably still want to take a look at your Estate Planning.  Intestacy Rules don’t account for previous children, step-kids, Inheritance Tax Planning …..
  • You make significant purchases – You bought a rental property – Get a Will!
  • You separate – THIS is the most significant one so far.  The same rules of Intestacy apply – your spouse gets the first £250k, and half of everything left over.  Your soon to be ex is still your spouse until the Decree Absolute comes through.  Is that what you want?
  • You remarry – Especially where this creates a ‘blended family’ situation, and things like habitation of a previous marital home can come into play.  You probably need to take a look at things from a new perspective,
  • You inherit – The IHT threshold is getting a lot closer for a lot of people!  An inheritance can push you way over that threshold.  You should automatically review your circumstances at this point.
  • You are bereaved – The loss of a loved one is a sad time, and I’m not suggesting that you engage a Will Writer immediately.  Due to IHT spousal transfer though, you may have inherited from your Husband, Wife or Civil Partner, and may now have a future Inheritance Tax Liability.  You may also simply want to revisit your planning now that quite possibly your first choice beneficiary has passed.
  • You get ill – This is the last one on the list. For many people, this is the first time they stop and consider their own mortality, the inevitability of life and death, and what they might want to do to help their loved ones once they’re gone.  We often see people at this time. As much as we love helping folk in this situation, it’s much nicer for all to make it 10 years before you get ill.  I know you don’t know when that will be, so do it now!

You might notice that Divorce isn’t on the list.  Unless a very rare clause has been used in your previous Will, your ex-spouse is automatically ignored in your Will.  They are in fact treated as if they are dead.  You may want to have a look just to make sure, but it is unlikely that they will benefit.

Of course, there are many other reasons for making a Will – these are just some seminal life events where the need might become greater.  We’re always happy to take a look at your current arrangements and review their suitability for you right now.  We make no charge for this service.

At Thoughtful Planning we have a range of services that give you Peace of Mind throughout the life cycle.  From Powers of Attorney, to Funeral Plans, Estate Administration and Wills, our Estate Planning service is small, friendly, and cares.  Contact us to see how we can help.

What is a Certificate Provider for an LPA?

What is a Certificate Provider?

All Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s), whether they are dealing with Health and Welfare, or Property and Financial Affairs, must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to be deemed valid.

Each LPA needs to be certified by an independent signatory to state that the donor (see glossary) has the required mental capacity.  The Certificate Provider must be either someone who has known the donor well for over 2 years, or somebody acting in a professional capacity.

The Certificate Provider cannot be a member of the either the Donor’s or Attorney’s families. Also they cannot be a Director, Manager, owner or employee of a Care Home in which the Donor lives.  Finally, they can’t be a business partner, or be employed by the same business or firm as an Attorney or the Donor.

What is the certificate provider for an LPA?

What does a Certificate Provider on an LPA do?

What are the duties of a Certificate Provider?

The person acting as Certificate Provider must be able to demonstrate that they understand the process of making an LPA, and its implications.  They must be confident that the donor understands they are giving rights of attorney to another party, and are clear about what these powers are.

At Thoughtful Planning, our consultants are experienced Certificate Providers.  We are happy to act in this capacity as part of your Estate Planning solution.

We are based in West Yorkshire and offer cost-free home visits throughout the North.  If you would like more information please contact us, or book your consultation here.

Refund of Power of Attorney Registration fees

If you made either an EPA (Enduring Power of Attorney) or LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) between April 1 2013 and March 31 2017, you may be entitled to a partial refund of your registration fees.

Between these dates, the Office of the Public Guardian made substantial operating cost savings, as LPA’s became more widespread. The registration cost did not come down in line with these savings, and as the department is not allowed to make a profit, the Ministry of Justice announced a refund scheme.

Power of Attorney Refund

Power of Attorney Refund

There is an extremely easy process to follow to make your claim for a refund, but you must claim before the end of January 2021.  Either the ‘donor’ of the LPA or an Attorney can make the claim.  Additionally, if the donor is deceased, a claim may be made by the estate administrators or executors.

Before you start you should make sure you have;

  • The donor’s Bank Account details
  • A copy of the LPA (if possible)

Then click here to start your claim

You’ll need about 10 minutes, and the refund will take around 12 weeks to process.

If you don’t have an LPA, please see our dedicated Power of Attorney pages for more information about our Fixed Price service

Do I need a Will?

The typical Will Writing Service client is often 55-plus years of age, retired, married, and often have new grandchildren.  So it’s easy to see why they would look at writing a will as a priority. What about if you don’t fit that profile?

I was packing up after a networking event recently, and a young chap approached me.  My talk had prompted him to ask, “Do I need a Will?”. Of course, there’s no easy answer to that.  I’m inclined to say everyone does because I often see the mess left behind when a loved one dies without having written a will. But this lad was around 19 years old, lived at home, had no substantial romantic relationship, didn’t have much in the way of assets, had no kids and …. well, he was a typical 19 year old in all the best possible ways!

I had to begrudgingly concede that he probably had very little need for a will right now, but I implored him to give me a call when anything substantial takes place in his life. So, when (let’s call him) Bob;

  • Has a child
  • Enters a substantial relationship
  • Ends a substantial relationship
  • Buys his own house
  • Has a change in his financial circumstances (Inheritance, Lottery Win!, Salary changes)

then he’ll give me a call.

I think this question can only really be answered by yourself.  So often people say to me that there is no point having a will because they have no money.  That’s not a great reason on its own.  Many of those people also have children.  Simply having children in itself is a great reason to make a Will.  In your Will, you can appoint ‘Guardians’ – these are the loved and trusted people in your life who agree to look after your children in the event of your death.  THIS is peace of mind! I wrote a Will this week for a young, single mother. The simple fact that she could name someone in her Will to look after her daughter if she died was reason enough to make that will.

So ask yourself, without a valid Will in place, who would suffer?  A Will never benefits the person who writes it. It is there to help your loved ones get through a really tough time.  If you conclude that it is worth looking at making a will, please get in touch. We’re always more than happy to talk through your options, and we offer Fixed Pricing on all Wills and LPA’s

Our Amazing #BlackFriday deal

Thoughtful Planning Black Friday LPA deal

Don’t miss this amazing offer on LPA’s.  Some companies charge upwards of £500 for an LPA.  Take advantage before we change our mind.

Appointment must be organised, and payment made by 5pm on 1/12/17

For any questions, please contact us on 01134360350