Wills

Reduce Financial Stress

Why Consider A Trust When Making A Will?

It is important for you to have a Will in place before you die. Not having a Will can lead to numerous complications when dividing an estate and, for some families, it can be enough to tear them apart.

But it isn’t just Wills that need to be considered.

Trusts can be used as a way of passing on inheritance, under the protection of Trustees who will pass on assets to your chosen beneficiaries in accordance with the Trust.

The benefits of doing this is that you can ensure your assets are going exactly where you wish.

So, in what circumstances are trusts useful?

Blended Families

If there are children involved from previous relationships, a couple may want to ensure that such children benefit from their inheritance.

A Trust could be included to enable assets to pass to a surviving partner upon the deaths of the first to die. The trust can also further outline what happens to the assets when both have died.

In this case, assets could be split between the couple’s own children.

Remarriage

If your spouse dies, you may go on to remarry in later life.

This could mean that a Will written when both were alive to be altered, sometimes in a way that may remove inheritance from existing children.

As with the above, a Trust could be included in a couple’s Wills to ensure inheritance for the ultimate beneficiaries whilst enabling the surviving spouse to have use of the asset during their lifetime, such as with the family home.

Is the beneficiary able to manage the inheritance?

A Trust is the most common way of safeguarding assets for those unable to manage their own finances, for example, a disabled person or someone with a substance misuse or alcohol dependency problem.

Here, the Trustees would use the assets to directly benefit the beneficiary, the Trustees would use their discretion as to how and when to release the funds.

 

If You’re Unmarried

Unmarried couples do not have the same rights of inheritance as those who are married or in a civil partnership.

In marriage or civil partnerships your estate can pass directly to your spouse upon your death.
Trusts can be included to ensure that your partner is provided for, whilst also addressing the inheritance tax issues for unmarried couples.

The above are just four common reasons to include a trust in your Will, there are many other reasons and a variety of Trusts which may help individual clients.

For more information about Trusts, contact LCS on 0345 017 8250 before it’s too late.

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How To Avoid Disagreements Ovwr Funerals

Dealing with the death of a loved one is an upsetting and deeply stressful time. Organising the funeral can only add to this, so what happens when families disagree over the arrangements?
Not everyone will have organised their own funeral before they die. Accidents can happen, and death can sometimes be quite sudden and sooner than expected. One small respite is knowing that the invoice for the funeral can often be settled directly from the estate, funds permitting.
As probate can take many months to be granted, most banks will be happy to release funds directly to funeral directors from the deceased’s bank account upon receipt of an original invoice, this may or may not include the wake.
Family members often have differing opinions and understandings as to what the deceased wanted to happen and, even conversations prior to the deceased’s death regarding the funeral and the wake can sometimes become a point of disagreement.
Not only can this add unnecessary stress, it may also divide a family. To avoid this, you have options available to you:
1. Write your wishes into your Will, it is always recommended that you discuss your wishes with your nearest and dearest, that way, your family will know exactly what want. Your Will may also give authority to your executors to spend a certain amount on your funeral and wake, thus avoiding potential arguments.
2. Organise a pre-paid funeral plan, there are many options available for you to “design” and pay for your funeral before you die. Different packages are available which are designed to suit all budgets, and will cover the very basic funeral to the most extravagant.
Having your funeral organised before you die will not only remove the stress of doing this in an already difficult time, but it will avoid family arguments, and over exuberance. It will also ensure you get the final say on your send off.
LCS can look after all your requirements regarding your Will, winding up your estate after your death and a pre-paid funeral plan. We are currently offering £100 off each Dignity Guaranteed pre-paid funeral plan.
Contact us now on 0345 017 8250 to discuss your needs and find out how we can help you and your family.

Is Your Pet Protected In Your Will?

Do you love animals? Do you know what would happen to your beloved family pet in the event of your death? Why not protect them in your Will, and ensure they’re safe and provided for once you’re gone?

The Pet Food Manufacturers Association have recently released figures that 44% of UK households have pets. Equating to 54 million pets, this means many of them may be left behind if their owner dies.

As pets have normally been in the family for a number of years, many owners assume family members will look after them after their death. This isn’t always the case.

Not everyone has the time, money, or simply wish to make the commitment pets demand, so it is imperative you discuss your plans with the people involved.

This gives them, the opportunity to think about your wishes, and allows you the option to rethink if they decline.

If a family member is unable to care for your pet, there are specific charities eg. RSPCA Home For Life Scheme, which are designed to rehome your pet and ensure they’re looked after.

According to the Administration of Estates Act 1925, pets are “personal chattels” meaning, they can be included and provided for in your Will.

No matter which option you take, you still must consider the expenses of looking after a pet over the rest of their lifetime:

Food
Vets
Medication
Grooming
Insurance
Funeral fees

In order to cover this, you may provide cash gifts specifically allocated towards their future care.

When writing your Will, it is advised not to specifically name your pet, but provide a letter of wishes to run alongside your Will detailing your wishes for their care, and information such as registered veterinary surgeries, or important medication.

Don’t forget to review your Will every few years, as if you die with an out of date Will, your wishes may never come to fruition, and any new pets you’ve acquired may not be protected.

To ensure your Will is sound, and legally adheres to your wishes, contact LCS now on 0345 017 8250 and speak to our professional advisors.

 

DIY Online And Quickie Wills

The Wills Act hasn’t changed since it became legislation in 1837 and is still used today. It is one of the oldest pieces of legislation and used because it is clear and simple.
Section 9 of the Wills Act specifies that the Will must be in writing and be signed by the Testator (person making the Will) or by someone else as directed by the Testator. The Will must show that the Testator intended for the Will to become effective and, the Will should be witnessed by two independent people in the presence of the Testator.
It is presumed by the Court that if these formalities have been adhered to, the Will was validly executed and it then confirms the intentions of the Testator.
A recent consultation by the Law Commission has looked at ‘a more modern and improved Wills Act’ to replace existing legislation. Whilst nothing is conclusive, this may include on-line and quickie Wills.
This is something that LCS has considered but have abstained from providing this service. We believe that it is important for us to ensure that our clients understand the importance of a Will and have given the matter consideration prior to proceeding.
We always check our client’s identity and spend time in finding out what is important to our client and what they are hoping to achieve for them and the people important to them.
A Will is important for ensuring that property and assets are passed in a well-defined way to avoid complications with the Probate Registry.
The potential for fraud and undue influence is minimised when we are meeting with clients to take their instructions, especially those who may have Dementia and Alzheimer disease which, according to the Office of National Statistics accounts for 11.6% of all deaths registered in 2015.
For something as important as a Will, why would you want a ‘quick job’? Surely, having a properly prepared Will, one which will ensure that all legal requirements are met as well as your wishes, is the best that you could do for your family and, don’t they deserve the best?
Contact LCS today on 0345 017 8250 to discuss how we can help you and, to hear about our amazing offers

 

 

Leaked Document Suggests Havoc To London Healthcare

A 31 page internal NHS document has highlighted a cost saving exercise to help bridge the £183 million funding gap for a number of hospitals in north-central London.

As reported by the Guardian, this document suggests Doctors affected will have less money to spend on medicine, refer less patients to hospital, and slash the support offered to those with severe needs. They are also looking to close some A&E and maternity units.

Ultimately, this will increase time for treatments and operations as the strain will be added elsewhere to already struggling associations, resulting in poor care:

“We recognise that these choices may be difficult for a number of reasons .. Options that impact on quality of care and options that would be difficult to implement.” (The Guardian)

The affected boroughs are reported to be Camden, Islington, Haringey, Barnet, and Enfield, with University College London and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital amongst the hospitals affected.

The leaked document has sparked outrage amongst NHS providers, with Saffron Cordery, Director of policy and strategy emphasising, “Some of the proposals could challenge fundamental expectations shared by NHS staff and the public about what the health service is there to provide. We cannot do that without a full and proper debate.”

Following on from the General Election, Labour are now stating that the cuts are due to the government not allocating the funds needed to do the job effectively.

Although there has been no final decision, the discussions may result in:

Patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for planned operations.
Higher care rationing.
Hospital units being restricted, or shut altogether.
Cuts to financial support currently given to those with long term health problems.
Limitations to treatment for those with musculoskeletal conditions.
Less money being fed into the Better Care Fund (a scheme designed to reduce pressure on hospitals).
Job losses.

Is this really the end of the NHS as we know it?

 

 

 

Fruit and Veg

Eat 10 Fruit and Veg a Day: The Secret To A Longer Life.

“An apple a day keeps the Doctor away.” How many times do you remember your parents telling you this?

It has come to light today, that the “five a day” we’ve grown up believing to be healthy, isn’t enough.

Based on findings from 95 studies, researchers are proposing that we need 800g (ten portions) of fruit and vegetables per day to dramatically decrease the risk of disease. Increasing our daily intake to this amoung may reduce your chance of having a stroke by a third and reduce the risk of heart disease by roughly 25%. It has also been suggested that it can delay the onset of heart disease and cancer which, overall, would equate to saving 8 million premature deaths worldwide.

The results found that although eating five portions per day reduced risk, the greatest benefit came from eating ten portions in comparison to those who ate none.

The team also found that to protect against heart disease and stroke, eating foods such as apples, pears, citrus fruit, salad, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Kale, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts showed the greatest benefits.

To reduce your risk of cancer, you’re advised to eat a variety of different types and colours of vegetables.

Whilst nutritionists are warning that informing people to eat more portions could potentially add pressure and create “unrealistic expectations”, the study did suggest that even small intakes reduced the associated risks somewhat.

New coins

Are You Ready For The Change Coming In For The £1 Coin?

This is the new 12 sided £1 coin which is due to come into circulation at the end of March 2017.

New £1 coin

The old £1 coin (pictured below) will still be in circulation until October 2017.

old £1 coin

If you are one of our clients who saves £1 coins in a jar or tin for Christmas or other special occasions, please take your old coins to a bank before they go out of circulation to exchange them for the new coins.

Call LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250 to use your old coins to pay for some of our SPECIAL OFFERS.

“Exercise Is Good For You” .. Or Is It?

Can you remember your parents encouraging you to participate in sport? How many of you chose the school football or rugby team? Startling information has arisen that may make you think twice about encouraging your children to do the same.

Reports out this week show new evidence that repeatedly heading a ball may be linked to long-term brain damage. Although small, the study of six players (5 professional, one serious amateur) found that they all developed Dementia in their 60s, some linked to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a degenerative brain disease, commonly found in athletes who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. It is well known that CTE is found in ex-boxers and upon post mortem, it was found that four of the footballer’s brains had similar changes.

The evidence is slightly tarred however, as the brains did also show signs of Alzheimer’s disease and blood vessel changes.

This comes as a slight blow to the future of British team sport as it studys findings from 2013 that there may be a link between repetitive head injuries and long-term problems in rugby.

There have been two key findings surrounding rugby:

  1. In younger players, repetitive concussions impact negatively on the way the brain functions. This is directly related to the regulation of blood flow in the brain.
  2. Looking at retired International players, it is believed that repetitive concussions impair the way the players remember and formulate ideas.

It has been concluded, that repetitive concussions accelerate brain ageing and increase the risks of Dementia.

Although these findings are scary, and potentially an inevitability for some sportsmen and women already competing, all hope is not lost. It could be argued that a football is now significantly lighter and made from synthetic materials, so the risk is reduced somewhat.

Governing bodies have come a long way in regulating the rules and practices surrounding contact sports and, with more research and improvements in technology, safety and player’s welfare is paramount.

It is never too soon to organise your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). LCS offers three types of LPA so contact us now on 0345 017 8250 to appoint yours.

Don’t leave anything to chance.

BE SAFE, BE SURE, CALL LCS TODAY.

Give the gift of LCS this Valentines

Give The Gift Of LCS This Valentines!

2016 will be remembered for many things, but one that seems prolific is the number of high profile deaths it encountered.

Although each shocked the world in equal magnitude, one that haunts is the death of music legend Prince. It turns out, Prince died intestate; he never wrote a Will.

So why does this matter?

Already, family disputes and potential taxation issues are looking to eat into most of Prince’s estate. Had he written a Will, it would be clear as to whom he wanted to benefit from his estate. Forward Inheritance Tax planning could have alleviated some of the tax liability and he could have helped some of the humanitarian causes that he had supported during his lifetime.

Sadly, Prince is not in the minority. Far too many people leave it too late, either through simply not bothering, or considering that their estate would automatically go to their spouse or partner. This is not always the case.

Although the laws were amended, unmarried couples are still not legally recognised, and as a result, if you do not have a Will, there is a high risk they won’t inherit anything. For them to automatically inherit, they must be named in your Will, otherwise they have just six months from the date of death to file a claim to the Courts, and this is then left to the Courts to decide upon.

In Prince’s case, the family disputes will require lawyers. This in turn will eat up a huge amount of money, and the taxman will need to take what is due in tax.

If you own anything or have children, you must make a Will. Failure to do so could leave your loved ones unprovided for, and children without Guardians.

We live in an ever-changing society, so make it your Valentines gift to your loved one and make a Will, or review your old Will to ensure it is still up to date and it truly reflects your wishes.

Give the gift of LCS this Valentines and call us now on 0345 017 8250 to make a Will appointment.

Robots may help solve social care crisis

Robots May Help Solve Social Care Crisis.

A fleet of personal robots may be the solution to alleviating pressure on care homes and hospitals.

According to BBC News, academics have reported that robots able to understand aspects of culture and with good bedside manner may help solve the care issue in Britain.

A team is working on robots that will offer support to those in care by helping with tasks such as administering medication, feeding and offering company.

Researchers will assist in building the robots, known as “Pepper Robots”, that can be programmed to complement the person they are assigned to.

Professor Irena Papadopoulos has stated that they “aren’t looking to replace human support, but enhance and complement existing care.”

These culturally sensitive robots are already being used across homes in Japan and the manufacturer, Softbank Robotics, are hoping that the funding provided by the EU and Japanese Government will enable a three-year turnaround.

It is hoped that the robots will help their users to use smart appliances, improving their communication with family and friends. They will also be programmed to communicate as a human would, through speech and gestures, and be designed to recognise symptoms that their elderly user is unwell.

Advinia Healthcare’s executive chairman, Dr Sanjeev Kanoria believes that “robots can support care workers by helping reduce errors in medication and assist them with advanced technology thus helping residents live safer, more independent lives in care and at home.”

Contact LCS on 0345 017 8250 to begin your Care Planning today.