What if anything happens to me?
Do you ever ask yourself this question?
There are several things that might, and one thing that definitely will, happen to you.
- Be involved in an accident and be physically or mentally incapacitated so that you are unable to manage your own affairs etc
- Become seriously ill so that a decision has to be taken about continuing your treatment
- Develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and lose your mental capacity
You will, one day:
All these situations can cause you, or those closest to you, considerable distress, and possibly extensive financial loss, which may be much worse if you do not take some quite simple, and comparatively cheap, precautions beforehand.
What can you do?
- Make a will. If you do not do this, your property will be distributed according to arbitrary rules, which may benefit people you would not choose to receive your property. Those you would want to benefit from your assets may not receive a penny. You may think that your wife or husband would get all your property on your death, but this is not necessarily the case
- Make a tax planning will. Any assets you own (adding in your spouse’s assets) over £325,000 will be taxed at 40% on the death of the survivor of you and your spouse (although it is proposed that in some circumstances this figure may now increase to £650,000). A suitably drafted will can be a very effective means of minimising the amount your estate has to find to pay Inheritance Tax, thus preserving the amount your dependants receive
- Make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a document under which you appoint one or more people to make decisions about your property, affairs and/or your personal welfare including health care and medical treatment decisions
- Make a ‘living will’. You can record your wishes, for example, about the continuation of treatment, in advance, and these will then be available to your doctor if you are not able to express your views
- Make a Trust. You might want to put your home into trust for your children to preserve its value.
These are potentially complex matters, and you need expert help. We have the expertise you need: we can do all these things for you, as well as giving you proper advice to suit your individual circumstances.
For further advice, contact our wills and probate specialists at Hand Morgan & Owen on Stafford 01785 211411 or Rugeley 01889 583871.
Updated January 2008
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances. (50587)