Trusts are arrangements made to give property or assets to a third party (the Trustees) to "look after" for a defined period or a until a specific event (for example a young person reaching a certain age), at which the time the assets will be passed to the beneficiaries, the wishes of the person creating the trust are usually laid out in either their Will or in a deed.
Trusts are used for many reasons, most commonly to protect the assets within them or to mitigate tax liabilities.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in 2007, the EPAs are still valid if signed before October 2007. An LPA is a document that is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian giving the Attorney(s) (the person(s) you appoint) permission to deal with your affairs if you become unable or no longer desire to do so on your own.
There are two types of LPA; "Property and Finance" and "Health and Welfare". The prime difference between the LPA and the EPA is that the LPA gives more scope for detailed instruction as to how you would like affairs to be handled.
Severance of Tenancy
How do you own your home?
Most "co-owners" own their property as "Joint Tenants". This means that if one owner dies the survivor would own the property outright irrespective of what may be written in a Will.
An alternative method of ownership is "Tenants in Common".
"Tenants in Common" - the co-owners each own a share of the property in their own right and can dispose of it as they wish. This method of ownership can allow the tenant to will their share as they wish, and can help protect one's share of the property from third party claims.
Executors are the people you appoint to carry out your stated wishes and administer your estate, including any tax and legal issues.
Sometimes clients do not want to leave the burden of administrating their estate to those close to them, or feel that using a professional would be more efficient, this is an area that some banks and solicitors use to boost their profits by charging excessive percentages for their services, often after luring clients in with a free Will offer.
To give you peace of mind I can offer advice and support in appointing professional executors.
Keep your Will safe!
I can offer secure insured storage for your Will and associated documents for a small annual fee. Clients who use this service are contacted approximately every 3 years to see if they require to make any updates to their Will. Updates are free of charge for clients with Wills in storage (although any additional services required may be chargeable).
Purchasing a pre-paid funeral plan can be a difficult subject to approach, but it is financially responsible and removes the burden of making arrangements from those close to you, at a time when they will naturally be distressed I can advise you and assist you through the process.