SUTCLIFFE MATSON LAW

 

WILLS

A Will is a legal document that allows you to say how you want your estate to be dealt with when you die.  Your estate is everything you own and any debts you owe when you die.  

Your Will also allows you to specify who is responsible for carrying out your wishes. This person is known as the executor of your Will.

A will can also contain wishes regarding guardianship of your children.

If you die without a Will, the law determines how your assets are divided and what may happen to the people that depend on you. Your loved ones may face difficulty in carrying out your wishes, and what happens may not be what you intended.

It is important that you get legal advice before making a Will, as the law sets out that your Will must be made in a prescribed manner, and there are important legal aspects that you need to consider.

Whether you are wanting to make your first Will or wish to update an existing Will, we are happy to assist you. Our friendly Solicitors will be able to explain everything to you so that you understand the process every step of the way. We will discuss your wishes and will tailor your Will to your specific needs.

To help you start thinking about your Will, please take a look at our Will Information Form here.

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone (your attorney) to make decisions for you and to act on your behalf.

There are two forms of Powers of Attorney; an ordinary Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney.

An ordinary Power of Attorney is generally used where you are temporarily out of the country and you need someone to act on your behalf, e.g. to manage your bank accounts.

An Enduring Power of Attorney generally has effect if you are not mentally capable of making decisions for yourself, e.g. if you have a head injury or disease.

There are two types of Enduring Powers of Attorney:

  • Personal Care and Welfare, which allows your attorney to make medical decision for you.  This kind of Enduring Power of Attorney can only come into effect if you lose mental capacity.
  • Property, which allows your attorney to manage your assets for you.  This kind of Enduring Power of Attorney can come into effect immediately (e.g. where you need assistance managing bank accounts), or only if you lose mental capacity.

As your attorney may act for you and on your behalf in relation to major matters, it is important that you choose someone that you trust. There are also various structures that we can discuss with you to make sure your attorney’s actions are monitored.

It is important to think about getting Enduring Powers of Attorney put in place as soon as possible. If you lose mental capacity and do not have Enduring Powers of Attorney in place, your family may have to go through the costly and time consuming process of applying to the Court for orders to be able to manage your affairs.

Our friendly Solicitors will be more than happy to discuss with you the process of putting Powers of Attorney in place, and can give you advice tailored to your individual circumstances.