Inheritance Tax Report
This is a comprehensive report detailing your current situation regarding any Inheritance Tax liability due and suggests ways of reducing the liability and also ways of making sure that your loved ones receive as much of your estate as legally possible. The booking of an IHT report in conjunction with a will , shall result in a discount off the cost of the will.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
An LPA is similar to an EPA (see below) in that it continues to be a legal document even if at some point in the future, you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, perhaps due to illness or injury. This should be considered by everyone over the age of 60. An LPA cannot be made by someone who already lacks mental capacity.
It is important
to remember that it does not need to be registered with the Office of
the Public Guardian until one loses mental capacity to act on one's own
From October 2007, there are two different types of LPA available to individuals wishing to make provision for the future:
• Property and Affairs LPA that allows you to choose someone you trust to make decisions about how to spend your money and the way your property and affairs are managed. Once registered, and unless you have put a restriction on it, this type of LPA can be used by your attorney(s) straight away.
• Personal Welfare LPA allows you to choose a person to make decisions on your behalf relating to your personal healthcare and welfare including decisions to give or refuse consent to treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live. These decisions can only be taken on your behalf when the LPA has been registered and you lack the capacity to make the necessary decision for yourself. This is similar to the current Living Will.
Whenever an attorney makes a decision under an LPA, by law they must act in the best interests of the donor who has given them the power.
If after October 2007, you want to make plans for the future, creating an LPA will allow you to choose one or more people to act as decision-makers. An LPA can be made by anyone aged 18 or over but can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Enduring Power of Attorney (replaced from October 2007 by the lasting powers of attorney)
A power of attorney is a written document which gives another person the right to act on your behalf , either on specific matters or generally. If you were overseas , you could grant a power of attorney to a family member, personal friend or your solicitor to sign specific documents or carry out other transactions on your behalf.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a specific type of power of attorney, which gives a person the right to act for the donor of the power in their financial affairs, and to continue to do so even when if the donor has become mentally incapable. The EPA can be worded so that it only comes into effect if this should happen. The ordinary power of attorney would automatically come to an end when this occurs.
You could appoint almost anybody over the age of 18 to act as your attorney and it is recommended to. ask two people to act as attorneys, either together (so they would both have to sign documents for example), or independently (so either could act on your behalf). If one of the attorneys dies, who have to act together, or becomes incapable of acting as an attorney, then the whole EPA fails. You could create two EPAs at the same time, expressing one to be conditional upon the other, eg "my sister shall not have general authority over my affairs unless my husband shall predecease me". Many people like to make their solicitor their attorney and they are, of course, happy to carry out this role for any client that may require it. They will of course charge for this service..
Having made the Power of Attorney, it does not mean that it has to be used. It should be retained, preferably with your will, and is therefore available for use if and when this ever becomes necessary.
The Government have recently indicated that they may give legal backing to the creation and use of so-called "living wills", which are perhaps more accurately described as advance directions on stopping life-prolonging treatment. It is possible from October 2007 to create an LPA, which will be a legitimate legal document which can cover such matters.
Living wills have been with us for several years, but many lawyers and doctors alike are unclear as to their status in law A living will could cover the patient’s wishes in such a difficult situation.
At the current time, the government has not given statutory backing to the use of living wills. If you would like to make a living will there are few simple rules that you should follow:-
· The document you create needs to be clear and concise
· Consider the types of treatment that you would not like to undergo and try and give your reasons
· Consider appointing a medical proxy, who can deal with decisions about medical care on your behalf
· Get the document witnessed by two people, who, preferably, will not benefit after your death
· Keep the original living will with your ordinary will, but provide copies to your next of kin, the medical proxy and your doctor
· the matter should be discussed with your GP