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Is it important to make a Will and set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?

According to a recent study over 70% of the UK population still do not have a valid Will.

Additionally, according to Alzheimer's Research UK, the numbers of people with dementia are predicted to rise up to 35% by 2025 and 146% by 2050.  Onset of early dementia is also increasing among 25 – 40 year olds and with an estimated 1.0 million UK citizens likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s by 2025 – the need for setting up a robust legal protection framework has never been greater.

Many financial advisers offer a complete estate planning service that includes Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney’s.

Below are some reasons why it is important to consider both:

A Will because;

It is wrongly assumed that your immediate family will automatically receive any assets from your estate.  A will ensures that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes, whereas - If you die without a Will (intestate) then the Laws of Intestacy will determine who inherits your estate (money and assets).  This can cause rifts in some families where one party remembers being 'promised' a particular heirloom. A will clarifies exactly who is entitled to what.

Without a Will – it can also be a long and complicated process to distribute assets.  A Will can grant you the peace of mind of knowing that you have safeguarded the future of your loved ones.

Next, consider a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) because;

An LPA ensures that if you suffer a debilitating illness or accident and unable to make decisions for yourself and your well being – your finances and your healthcare wishes will be exercised in accordance with instructions you made while in a fit and healthy state of mind.

In other words; it may be better for your longer term well being to make an LPA while in a fit state of mind rather than leaving it to others to make potentially life changing decisions on your behalf following the onset of a major terminal illness or irreversible state of incapacity.

Ensure you take full professional advice and guidance towards this most sensitive subject by contacting a financial adviser near you.