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  • Writer's pictureMaplebrook Services

Securing Your Legacy: The Imperative of an Early Life and Death Plan

Updated: Jun 6

Deciding when to kickstart your life and legacy plan can often feel daunting, but delaying these important decisions only adds unnecessary stress for your loved ones. No matter your age, relationship status, or financial situation, there's no time like the present to start planning.


Estate planning isn't just about divvying up assets after you're gone; it covers a whole range of considerations like Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), Wills, and trusts. Together, these elements create a comprehensive life and legacy plan, ensuring your wishes are honoured and your family is taken care of.


Lasting Power of Attorney


First things first, if you have assets in England and Wales or might be living there, setting up Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is crucial. An LPA grants trusted individuals the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you can't due to illness or incapacity. By appointing attorneys for health and financial matters, you're ensuring your affairs are handled according to your wishes, easing the burden on your family during tough times. Remember, when choosing your attorneys, it's essential to pick people you trust. Take, for instance, a client of ours in England. We were assisting him with a Health & Welfare LPA when the daughter intervened, insisting she be appointed jointly with her new stepmother? Well, turns out she was a tad worried her stepmother, who was only a few years older, might pull the plug a bit sooner than she'd prefer!


Wills


A Will is the cornerstone of any estate plan, giving you the power to decide how your assets are distributed. Without one, your estate could be subject to intestacy laws, leading to disputes and unintended outcomes.  Another colleague of ours received a phone call from an old client who was getting married on the weekend.  The client understood that marriage completely annuls any Will he had in place as he had not made a provision for

Wedding decorations with the words 'I do'

contemplation of marriage.  He made the appointment to see our colleague on the Tuesday after his wedding, unfortunately, he passed away on his wedding night! His estate is now tangled up in court proceedings due to the lack of a Will, leaving his new spouse with more than he intended. By drafting a clear and legally binding Will, you ensure your assets are distributed as you wish, providing peace of mind to both you and your beneficiaries.


Trusts


In more complex financial situations, trusts can offer added benefits like asset protection, tax efficiency, and control over distributions. They allow you to specify conditions for distributing assets, safeguarding your wealth for future generations and protecting vulnerable beneficiaries, especially those in receipt of state benefits.


Life is full of uncertainties, but that doesn't mean we should put off planning for the inevitable. Your legacy depends on taking action now. For further guidance or advice, reach out to a qualified Will Writer at Maplebrook Services Ltd today. And mark your calendars for our next free Life Admin Clinic on Wednesday 26 June 2024, from 10:30am to 3:00pm. Your future self — and your loved ones — will thank you for it.

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