We are now well into the New Year and one or two of the resolutions we made on New Year’s Eve may well have fallen by the wayside. If one of those resolutions was to get your own personal and financial affairs in order (as mine was) then do not delay. You get a real feel good factor in knowing that if you were to have an accident or be incapacitated your personal and financial affairs are left in such a way that your loved ones will not have any added stress in ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Firstly make sure that you have made a lasting power of attorney for your property and financial affairs in place. In this document you appoint those close to you to look after your financial affairs if you become permanently or temporarily unable to look them yourself. The document is like an insurance policy. You make it, you put it away. You hope it will never need to be used. If, however, at any time in the future you need or you want those close to you to help with your financial affairs you have already had the document prepared and it is all ready for them to use without any unnecessary fuss or delay.
Secondly make sure that you have made a lasting power of attorney in relation to your health and welfare so that if you do become mentally incapable of making decisions about your health and welfare again your loved ones can speak on your behalf. They are the ones who know you well and whom you trust to act in your best interests. Without a health and welfare lasting power of attorney then in the event of your mental incapacity other organisations may make decisions for you without any knowledge of you, your wishes or your personal circumstances.
Thirdly make sure that you have a will, that it is up to date and that it carries out your wishes. Almost 30 million people – 60 per cent of adults do not have a will. It is a common misconception that if you die without a will (intestate) your closest relatives will decide how assets are split. This is not the case. There are rigid rules as to who inherits when you die without a will and in some cases this will simply mean the Government collects the lot.
At Dixon Stewart we can help with all of the above. Call into one of our offices in New Milton, Highcliffe or Bransgore for a chat. Any initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to continue if you do not wish to do so. Alternatively call Kelly Taylor on 01425 621515, Helen Stewart on 01425 279222 or Paul Moores on 01425 673994 to make an appointment.