06 July 2017
Back to planning the future
For the second year running, the B P Collins wills, trusts and probate team supported this year’s national ‘Dying Matters’ campaign in Beaconsfield. Here, partner Lucy Wood provides five reasons why it is vital to plan for your future.
Organised by the National Council of Palliative Care, Dying Matters is a coalition of 32,000 members who run a campaign every year to encourage people to talk more openly about dying, bereavement and to plan for later life.
B P Collins is an active member and to mark the occasion this year, we hosted a free legal advice clinic in Beaconsfield along with financial adviser Beaufort Asset Management and Arnold Funeral Service to help people plan for their future.
We understand that the thought of discussing yours and your family’s future can be overwhelming and despite knowing the value of preserving your legacy, you may be put off from doing so. Others think that they will die sooner if they make arrangements for when they’ve gone.
Some believe that it’s just too time consuming or expensive and to avoid this, they simply talk through their plans with family or friends or they draft a DIY will online. But not all wills are the same. One size does not fit all and by using the expertise of a lawyer with a wealth of experience who can advise on gaps or loopholes will prove priceless in the long run.
Planning for your future will also:
Lessen the stress for those left behind
It can protect your loved ones from any further anguish when they have clear instructions from you after you’ve gone. It is important to have a discussion with your beneficiaries about the decisions that you have taken and why. Having this potentially difficult conversation now can help to avoid people contesting your wishes in the future.
Ensure you have control of your later life care
According to a Dying Matters survey, only 7% of people have made others aware of the care that they want if they couldn’t make decisions. Take the time to complete a lasting power of attorney now so that you can give instructions for your health care if you become incapacitated. This step will ultimately save energy, resources and stress for your loved ones.
Address any changes in your life
Divorce fears are stopping nearly a third of parents leaving children their inheritance. We would advise everyone to review their wills and trusts after any significant changes in theirs or their family’s lives and after every Budget.
Provide security for your children
Some people assume that making a will or trust is something that older people should just be thinking about. But what if you have young children? It is worth considering if you and / or your partner pass away, who would you like to look after them and their inheritance. If your wishes are not recorded, a judge will have to make that decision for you. We would usually recommend that a guardian should also be a trustee as they are aware of day to day spending for the children, with another trustee appointed to ensure all activity is in the children’s best interests.
Provide security for unmarried couples
The myth of common law marriage prevails with many people believing that cohabiting couples have equivalent rights to married couples once they have lived together for a period of time. But this is not the case. People who live together never acquire the same rights and responsibilities no matter how long they are together and regardless of whether or not they have children. Assets don’t automatically pass to the surviving partner unless there is an official will put in place.
If you were unable to make our Beaconsfield event and have any queries at all in relation to planning for your future, the team are running complimentary 30 minutes sessions on the first Wednesday of September and November from 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Please email email@example.com to book in.
To speak with a member of the team, call 01753 279030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.