2018 is upon us and what better way to start the New Year than with a New Year’s Resolution to get your affairs in order.
No matter what other resolutions you may have, getting your affairs in order must be a priority and, is something that will affect your family as well as you.
Have you made a Will?
It’s vitally important that everyone has a Will before they die.
It not only ensures your estate is passed on to those you love or care about, helping to provide for them in later life, it also helps avoid conflict, family arguments, and unexpected costs.
Moreover, just because they are your family, it doesn’t mean that they will automatically inherit.
If you have made a Will, is it up to date, are your details correct, have you included everyone or have you new members of the family who need to be added to your Will.
Legally, cohabiting couples have no protection when it comes to inheritance upon death, unless they are named in your Will.
To ensure your partner is protected you must name them in your Will. Even if you have been together for a long period of time and may have children together, this affords you no benefit.
What assets do you have?
Assets aren’t just “the value of your estate”. They can be a family heirloom, a treasured piece of china inherited from a family member, a motor vehicle or any other possession.
Assets can also be “invisible money” such as pensions, death benefits from life insurance, or employment benefits that mature when you die.
Recently, there have been changes surrounding pensions, so ensure you’re up to date with the changes and the rules from your specific provider.
Check if you can leave pension benefits to a specific beneficiary (most companies allow you to assign someone) and, if you can, assign someone.
Do you have a Lasting Power of Attorney? (LPA)
Along with Wills, it is vital for everyone to have an LPA and it is important to do this whilst you still have mental capacity.
Should you lose capacity, without an LPA it becomes very hard to manage finances and make decisions on your behalf, regardless of whether you are married or have a partner.
Your loved ones would have to go through the lengthy process of applying to become your Deputy.
In the meantime, your assets may be frozen, undoubtedly causing stress for your family.
It is important to note capacity does not just mean age related issues. It relates to illness, accidents, and unexpected circumstances.
To gain more information on any of the matters above, or for help organising your affairs, contact LCS now on 0345 017 8250.