Yellow Brick Wills & Estate Planning are will writers and estate planners built around the Yellow Brick ethos of giving exceptional customer service and giving back to our charities, the community and the environment on every transaction. We are experts in helping our clients plan ahead to protect their loved ones and manage their estate planning needs. We operate nationally where we are able to assist by phone and video conference, or face to face across Norfolk and Suffolk.
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What happens if I die without making a will?
If you live in England or Wales and die without writing a legally valid will, the government will decide who gets what, this can leave your family in a very difficult position as the estate may not be distributed as you would have hoped. If you die without any living family, all your property and possessions will go to the Crown.
If you have children under 18 years old, Social Services can make decisions about who will take care of the children. In addition, any inheritance left to them would be managed by someone appointed to do so. By making a will you can specify who you would like to care for your children.
So what is a will?
A will is a legal document that allows you to set out what should happen to your estate (your money, property, investments and possessions less your debts) as well as your young children after you have passed away.
There are different types of will available:
A single is best considered for people who want to record their own individual wishes. This is typically useful for a single person.
A mirror will is best considered if your wishes are very similar to someone else’s (typically your partner or spouse), then you may want to make standard mirror wills together.
There are various trust wills available. These can be used if, for example, you want to provide for your partner but also have children from a previous relationship. A trust will can also help to protect your estate against care home fees, or it can be used to protect inheritance if a beneficiary is unable to manage their finances. Trust wills add a degree of security not afforded under a single or mirror will.
Lasting Powers of Attorney:
There are two types of lasting Powers of Attorney;
- Property and Financial
- Health and Welfare
An LPA ensures that, should you be unable to manage your own affairs, the people you have appointed (your Attorneys) can manage your affairs on your behalf. This can save a great deal of money and distress. This will also mean that the people you trust are the ones that will look after you and your affairs.
There are many reasons to put in place LPAs not least because of life’s dangers. Accidents, strokes, brain injuries and dementia can cause someone difficulties in dealing with their own affairs. Handling your financial and medical affairs can become virtually impossible, which is why it is sensible to plan for trusted people to act as your Attorneys and help with these matters when necessary. This could save a great deal of money and help ease the burden on relatives.
The risk of not having an LPA in place is that the family must apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed to assist in these matters. This is not an inexpensive procedure and could cost many thousands of pounds in legal costs, especially with lawyers involved. By having an LPA in place this will not be necessary.
Jointly owned assets such as bank accounts or properties can be restricted, meaning that the monies are not readily available to the family, placing extra burden and stress on the family at an already difficult time.