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The Unpleasant Issues Conversation

Martin Lewis, renowned Money Saving Expert, was on Radio 5 this week to discuss the ‘Unpleasant Issues Conversation.’ These issues are: death, divorce and dementia. This article will focus on death and dementia.

He shocked listeners by starting with the fact that 1 in 3 over 65s now die from dementia, which makes it the number one killer in the UK. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37972141)

Martin argued about the necessity of having a will, so that the little bit of planning you do now can save your loved ones serious financial stress during a time of grief once you’re gone. Yes, it’s morbid, but it’s incredibly necessary.

Drafting a will yourself is possible, but having a solicitor draft it for you means it will be correct and will incorporate all of your finances and property if you have a larger estate. Martin does not recommend writing one without the help of a solicitor.

If you’re cohabiting with a long-term partner, it’s time to write a will! The law will not see your partner as you see them once you’re gone. Your home and money will not automatically go to your partner as if you were married. However, with a will, your partner can be your named beneficiary of whatever possessions and money and property you like.

Martin also discussed Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). These have now replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs). If you do not have an LPA in place and you lose your mental capacity and need care, then your loved ones will be unable to access your finances to pay for it without an LPA. This is troublesome, as once your loved one has lost mental capacity then your only option is to go to the Court of Protection, which is not only a long process but also an expensive one where you will need a solicitor’s advice.

Remember, an LPA looks after a person whilst they’re still alive, so why would you not want one in place? If a family member is poorly, do not wait for them to get worse – act now. Many people regret waiting as then it causes more stress and expense with having to deal with the Court of Protection.

Many commented that the programme this week was a “wake up call” and genuinely scared members of the public who do not yet have their affairs in order.

If you’re married, or have property, or have children – make a will and an LPA! This protects your loved ones if you die suddenly or become incapacitated at a young age.

If you’re thinking about making a will, applying for an LPA or would like to talk about updating your will, please contact our office on 0117 3179719 and our Private Client department can help you plan for the future.

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