2020 has been dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s affected us all in one way or another. Neither military power nor wealth has been able to stop the destructive global spread of this tiny member of the Coronavirus family. Its full human impact and economic cost will not be known for some while to come.
So, as 2020 comes to a close, what have we learnt so far?
- What happens in our life and in our future is not always in our hands.
- If we don’t have our important paperwork in place already, it may be too late.
- Prevention is better than cure.
- Family and close, supportive friends are precious and we really do care about them.
- We may need help now or in the future. It’s ok to ask for help.
- People are willing and happy to step in and help when we need them to. Even strangers.
- It feels good to give and receive help.
- We can tackle big problems, if we cooperate with others.
Is now a good time to re-evaluated what’s important to us?
The good news is that more people are aware of the need to make a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney. The bad news is that over half the adults in the UK have not yet made a Will and far less than that have made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Without a valid Will in place people run the risk of dying intestate (and having their estate distributed solely according to intestacy law). This is a particular problem for those with step families, or who live together unmarried. Maybe most expect to get around to it at some time, so what are they waiting for?
Without a ‘lasting power of attorney’ document created in advance, families can find themselves locked out of an ailing loved one’s finances and facing a complicated court process to be appointed their ‘deputy’, with not only long time delays, but fees running into many thousands of pounds. Loss of mental capacity, a stroke or a spell of time in hospital, can all cause problems that a LPA can help with.
The huge benefits of having a Will and LPAs, out way the even bigger risks of not having one, and should be far more widely known and talked about. People think a Will or LPA is just for the end of their life, and it is – but who knows when that will be?
It’s clear that many people think they’re just not ‘rich enough’ or ready to make a will. This ignores the fact that a Will makes inheritance a far quicker process – do they really want to keep their loved ones waiting longer, when that money might be badly needed? It also doesn’t take into account the complexity of modern families, which intestacy law simply doesn’t address. Children from previous marriages could end up receiving nothing at all.
No more excuses! Life is short.
Unexpected events DO HAPPEN.
Ask me for help to prepare your Will and LPA and make 2021 the year that you GET IT DONE!