Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, in a recent article one of my colleagues quoted ‘We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat’. Whilst some people have found the lockdown has brought about new opportunities, for many, sadly, Covid-19 has resulted in the breakdown of relationships, loss of employment, and even more sadly for many, the death of loved ones. For others, Covid-19 has meant loved ones have spent a great deal of time either in hospital, or at home, incapacitated due to the fight against the virus.
Research shows it is estimated that between 54-60% of adults in the UK currently do not have a valid Will. If you die without making a valid will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules and often these rules may not include persons who you would want to receive gifts and assets, or alternatively, may include individuals you would wish to exclude from your estate. Examples include that the rules do not provide for any cohabiting partner, irrespective of the length of the relationship.
Lasting Powers of Attorneys are documents that allow you to appoint individuals (known as attorneys) to deal with your affairs, for both financial matters and your health and welfare, in the event you are unable to deal with them yourself. Unfortunately, many patients with Covid-19 have been placed on ventilators and in these circumstances, if you have a valid LPA, your attorneys would be able to manage your affairs for you. LPAs remain in effect if you lose mental capacity through other circumstances, for example health issues often associated with old age.
With Social Distancing guidelines in place, it is still possible to make a Will and LPA. Now the rules allow, we can offer face-to-face meetings that comply with the current government guidelines both at our offices, and with advanced planning, at your home. We have many clients who now prefer virtual meetings (except for signing the documents) and we are happy to assist you in this way if preferred.
Whatever type of boat you are in, whatever type of legal advice you need, we are here to help with our wide-ranging services.
For more information on Wills and LPAs, please contact Ann Coutts.