Why Should You Get a Power of Attorney?

The importance of a Power of Attorney is greater that most people know. No one really wants to consider being in a situation where they cannot make decisions for themselves, but these things do happen on occasion and it is important to have a plan in place. If something were to befall you that caused you to lose your decision-making capacity and you do not have a Power of Attorney, there is no one that automatically has the right to make decisions on your behalf.

This tends to come to a shock to many people as it is usually assumed that a spouse or close family member would automatically be given this right but this is not the case, unless you have given them legal authority through a PoA. In the case there is not PoA, family members can appeal to be granted these powers but the process is long and expensive. It typically costs around £2,000 and requires a court hearing.

When Would a Solicitor be Necessary for Child Arrangements?

Family separations put everyone involved in a tough position and often they do not go as smoothly as it hoped. The important thing is that you, as a parent with parental responsibilities and legal rights, understand when it is time to get a solicitor involved.

There is no need for a solicitor when the separation is amicable and both parents can agree on:

• Where the child/children will live

• How much time they’ll spend with each parent

• How you’ll financially support your children

If these things cannot be agreed upon, you can first use a mediator to help with the parenting plan process. However, if this option fails and these issues have still not been settled, you can take the issue to court and have a judge decide what is best for the child/children. You cannot apply for a court hearing unless you have first tried mediation, except in certain cases such as domestic abuse or involvement of social services.

How to choose a solicitor to make a will?

Executors are people named in your will who will carry out your wishes after you die. They’ll be family or friends, but you ought to ask them first if they’re willing to require on this role because it involves a great deal of responsibility. An executor also can be a knowledgeable and professional person, like your solicitor. If you employ a solicitor for this service, you’ll need to pay some reasonable fee. Most of the people have two executors, but you’ll potentially have up to four. You ought to opt for a minimum of one or have a second executor just in case your main one is unable to act on your behalf. You’ll prefer to appoint the solicitor or firm who draws up your will as your executor. This suggests they’re going to handle the arrangements for your estate once you die. Always ask how you’ll be charged – some solicitors will take a percentage of your estate to satisfy the bills. Others will charge for his or her time.

What happens if you never make a will?

If you were to not make a will, when you pass away, you will have died ‘intestate’.

Think of a will as a set of statutory rules, which specify how your assets are distributed to family members, and this can be in a fixed order. If you have no family members then your assets will go to the Crown. The real risk of ‘dying intestate’ is that you will not have have a say on who gets what, and after all, they are still your belongings! We can understand that if you had some family members whom you would not wish to inherit your assets, this may be a wise option, but there should always be a better cause than the Crown in our opinion. Even if you were to give the money to charity it would make more sense, so this is why it’s so important to ensure you have a will. Likewise, any people who are not blood relatives, such as unmarried partners, may not receive anything. It is therefore critical that you make a will to avoid this situation if you don’t want your loved one to miss out.

Joint Property Ownerships: The potential problems

Let’s first explain what joint property ownership is. If a property is held jointly with right of survivorship, when the first owner dies, the surviving joint owners in the normal course automatically become the owner of all of the property. So let’s say a brother and a sister own a house together. They each have two children.

When the parents have both passed, they will each own a quarter of the property. There are potential problems with this though, and it’s usually due to a conflict of interests. If one individual wants to keep the property but the others want to sell, the property will be sold, unless the one that wants to keep it can buy the others out, but of course a price needs to be agreed one. That can be the case if two want to sell, they can force the sale, so really it’s just a case of an individual or a couple of individuals in this instance feeling as though they’re losing control, and this can often cause disputes.