Single - Joint - Mirror - Trust
Wills & Testament
The most simple form of a Will, this allows you to choose Executors to deal with your Estate, separate Trustees (if necessary), Guardians for your children if under 18 and Beneficiaries of your Estate, Provision for Pets, it is usually used by someone who is single or not in a long term relationship, although a lot of couples include this clause too.
These are two Wills, usually for married couples, unmarried partners and people in civil partnerships who live together and want similar things.
It includes all the features of a single standard Will.
These Wills can be used to protect assets for future beneficiaries including minor, vulnerable and disabled beneficiaries.
There are many different types of Trusts in Wills and all the different types of options available to you and how they can play an important part in providing you with the control and protection you need can be discussed on the consultation.
Property - Financial - Health - Welfare
The possibility of losing mental capacity has increased due to people living longer. Although, capacity could be lost at any time due to an accident, a stroke or degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s. If capacity is lost and there is no LPA in place, family or friends will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship. This is a lengthy process and costs much more than registering an LPA and incurs ongoing costs, whereas an LPA doesn’t. If assets are held in joint names and one person loses capacity, the other will not be able to access the jointly owned assets without an LPA or Deputyship.
Health & Welfare LPA
This covers decisions about the donor’s personal welfare and health. This can only be used once the donor has lost capacity. The attorney will be able to:
Make decisions on where the donor is living and on their day to day care
Arrange any medical, dental or optical care for the donor
Consent to or refuse any medical treatment including life sustaining treatment, if the donor wishes them to do so when making the LPA
Decide on the donor’s diet, clothing and exercise etc
Property & Financial Affairs LPA
This covers decisions about the donor’s financial affairs and their property. This can be used whilst the donor still has capacity if they wish, which is very useful if the donor has or develops mobility issues and if they lose capacity. The attorney will be able to:
Buy, sell or rent property out
Operate the donor’s bank account and invest any savings
Deal with their Financial Advisor regarding their Pensions, Investments, Life Assurance etc
Claim welfare benefits or pensions and receive income for the donor
Deal with the donor’s tax affairs
Pay the donor’s mortgage, rent and household expenses
Insure/insurance claims, maintain or repair the donor’s property
Planning - Control - Protection
Family Asset Protection Trusts
One of the most important benefits of planning ahead is to help give you control and protection of your assets (such as your home) and any savings or investments you may have.
This may seem very complex but can be achieved through various ways such as a Family Asset Protection Trust’.
Sideways dis-inheritance is a major concern for couples who wish to pass their assets on to their children on second death.
An example of a potential problem would be if the surviving spouse re-marries and then subsequently divorces meaning the assets owned by the first spouse (who thought they would go to the children) could be lost in divorce proceedings or the surviving spouse could re-marry and die without making a Will, meaning the surviving spouse would receive the majority if not all of the assets and the children from the previous marriage receive very little or nothing.
Many people arrange the Family Asset Protection Trusts (FAPTs) to offer protection from such scenarios.
Some of these Trusts are set up when you are still alive. These are commonly known as ‘Lifetime Trusts’ while others, known as ‘Will Trusts’, come into play once you have died.
The Lifetime Trust’, allows you to shelter any assets you have, such as your home, in a Trust. Once the Trust is set up, it provides protection for any assets transferred into it and can help to make sure you leave as much as possible to your loved ones.
Unlike a ‘Lifetime Trust’ which is set up when you are alive, a Will Trust is set up once you have died.
In simple terms, rather than transferring everything in your share of the estate to your spouse or partner when you die, it is put into a Trust. By doing so, you are putting a protective arm around your assets, ensuring your loved one’s benefit.
Decisions - Future - Security
Why make an advance decision?
The term ‘living will’, whilst helping people to understand the concept, is somewhat misleading in that, unlike a will, it does not deal with money or property.
Moreover, it can relate to all future treatment, not just that which may be immediately lifesaving.
An advance directive/decision, as it is also known as is legally binding in England and Wales. Except in the case where the individual decides to refuse life sustaining treatment, it does not have to be written down, although most are, and a written document is less likely to be challenged.
Why make an advance decision?
If you have strong feelings about types of treatment, you may wish to make an advance decision.
You may want to refuse a blood transfusion, or an amputation. More commonly, if you’ve been told you have a terminal illness or dementia, you may wish to indicate which types of treatment you wouldn’t want to receive in the future.
An advance decision can give you peace of mind knowing your wishes won’t be ignored.
An advanced decision can be documented within an LPA Health & Welfare ensuring your attorney(s) follow your instruction on the advanced decision