At this time of year, many of us will be heading off to sunnier climes to enjoy a well-deserved break.
I recently enjoyed a week’s holiday in Egypt and in the run up to my break, it struck me just how much planning and preparation goes into something that is supposed to be relaxing!!
The preparation starts when you begin to research the holiday – firstly you need to research and decide where to go, and then comes the process of finding out when the best time is to go to the proposed destination, ensuring that both flights and accommodation are available, making sure it all comes within budget and co-ordinating the time off with your colleagues. Then, as the holiday edges closer, there’s the travel insurance to consider, getting the foreign currency, booking the dogs into kennels, and lining someone up to keep an eye on the house. A few days before, there’s all the holiday washing to be done, the suncream to be bought, taxi to be booked’¦the list really does go on and on!!
It’s funny how we’re all very happy to put so much time and effort into organising our holidays, but when it comes to planning for the future of your estate and the long-term security of our loved ones, we’re somehow much more reluctant!
When considering writing a will, it is of the upmost importance that proper legal advice is sought and careful consideration is given to your potential options. Wills, like all other legal documents, are not to be treated lightly. Having said that, consulting an experienced wills and estates solicitor will certainly make the process easier, ensuring you have covered all the necessary bases and accounted for every circumstance, leaving you with complete peace of mind.
Everyone is different; some people may only require a straightforward will whereas others, such as those with more complex family situations or larger estates, will require more intricate planning. Provisions can be made for your children or partner, which may not occur if you were to pass away intestate (without a will). There are also many other things to consider such as tax implications and situations whereby the appointment of a trustees or guardians become necessary.
Another point worth consideration is the creation of a Power of Attorney for situations where mental/physical incapacity becomes an issue. A Power of Attorney allows a trusted person to take control of your financial affairs and can also enable your attorney to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Planning what will happen when we die may not be something we necessarily like to think about, but it is something that will inevitably happen to us all. At least if you know you have a will and that all the necessary arrangements are in place, it is one less thing to worry about before your holiday!
By Phil Taylor, Wills and Estate Planning Solicitor