LATEST TWEETS

Great feature in Business Cornwall Magazine on @rights_net, our social media, internet and media law service… https://t.co/2g8xlBa0Nw
Tomorrow is the day to come and meet some of the team @CornwallBizShow including Laura Baglow, Head of NetRights, o… https://t.co/qM78xnzWPW
Happy International Women’s Day! Parnall history trivia for you: Parnall & Sons was a keen employer of women. On 3… https://t.co/vpjepce8X1
NetRights is launched by leading law firm, Parnalls Solicitors to offer quick and effective protection for your bra… https://t.co/4dD4Q6oHkZ

Putting your legal affairs in order

In later life, spending quality time with family and friends is a much more appealing prospect than putting your legal affairs in order, but planning for the end of your life will be of huge benefit to loved ones. In May 2018, Dying Matters Awareness Week and Dementia Action Week are encouraging people to think about what they want as they reach the end of their lives and the provision they would like to make for relatives, friends and charities.

Deborah Adams, Director & Head of the Private Client Dept who deal with wills and probate lawyer with Parnalls Solicitors in Launceston offers her top five tips when thinking about organising your affairs.

Make or update your will

Making a will is the most important step you can take to protect those you leave behind. If you die without a will, known as dying intestate, you have no say in what happens to your assets. You might think everything you own (your estate) will be divided between your closest family, but this is not guaranteed. Instead, the intestacy rules will apply, meaning the government decides who inherits what.

Making a will ensures your estate is shared according to your wishes and avoids an unnecessary burden on loved ones. Writing a comprehensive and legally accurate will is a complex process. Mistakes in wills can make them invalid, and lack of clarity can lead to family disputes. There are also tax issues to be considered.

It is a good idea to have your will regularly reviewed by your solicitor to make sure it still reflects your wishes. This is particularly important if you get married or enter into a civil partnership, if you get divorced, when children are born who you wish to benefit, or when you buy a property.

Think about a letter of wishes

There may be things you want loved ones to know after you die which do not belong in your will, for example funeral requirements, advice to guardians on raising your children, or an explanation of why someone has been excluded from your will. These are usually put into a letter of wishes, which can explain your thought process when making your will and provide guidance to your executors and family. A letter of wishes can include anything you like, but it must not conflict with your will.

Put in place a lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document allowing people of your choice to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to. You cannot make an LPA once you lose mental capacity, so it is important to seek legal advice at an early stage. There are two types of LPA:

• Property and affairs: this covers decisions about your finances and property, like managing investments or selling your house.
• Health and welfare: this covers decisions about where you live, day-to-day care, and medical treatment.

Having an LPA in place will make things easier for your family. If you become unable to make decisions and do not have an LPA, it will be expensive and time-consuming for them to get authority to act on your behalf.

Consider an advance decision

An advance decision or living will allows you to put in writing your wishes about refusing medical treatment if you lack capacity. An advance decision is legally binding, which means the people caring for you must follow your instructions. It cannot be used to request certain treatment or for your life to be ended. The rules on advance decisions and how they interact with LPAs are complicated, and your solicitor can advise you on what best reflects your wishes.

Seek inheritance tax advice

Inheritance tax (IHT) does not just apply to the very rich. With rising house prices, more people become liable to pay the tax each year. There is no IHT payable if you leave your estate to your spouse or civil partner, and an additional allowance introduced in April 2017 means you can leave more tax free to your children and grandchildren. IHT is charged at 40 per cent, but there are lots of ways that the burden can be reduced. With careful forward planning and sound legal advice, you can ensure that your loved ones receive everything you want them to, without having to sacrifice more than necessary in taxation.

For help making a will, inheritance tax advice and any other estate planning issues, please contact Deborah Adams on 01566 772375 or email adamsd@www.parnalls.com

MORE NEWS

Have you had an accident involving a horse?

Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords

Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation

New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year 

Tax Planning for your inheritance

Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable

Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider

Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit

Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News

Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation

Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea

Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?

Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?

HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments

Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor

The potential implications of Brexit on employment law

Appointing a guardian for your children

Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018

New Agriculture Bill published

Will Brexit affect my pension?

Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up

Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams

Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager

How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die

How overage agreements can boost profits from your land

Top tips for first-time buyers

How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?

Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams

Brexit ­– an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation

Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK

Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell

Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money

Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home

Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member

Considerations when buying a heritage property

Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers

Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.

Selling your land through a conditional contract

Why you should always use a solicitor to prepare your will

Putting your legal affairs in order

How to extend a lease on a flat or buy a share of the freehold

Delayed Health Checks

New Marketing Team at Parnalls Solicitors Ltd

Social media: snooping in the recruitment process

A landlord's guide to tenant alterations

Equity release, your questions answered

Short term lettings: avoiding the pitfalls

How to apply for a grant of probate

Are you entitled to a fee refund for your Lasting Power of Attorney?

What to do when someone dies

Business disputes: can they ever be avoided?

Accident at work: what to do and when if you have been injured

Director appointment

What type of will do I need?

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 2)

Conveyancing quotes: what you need to know

New appointment in Litigation

Property boundaries and rights of access: what are they and why do they matter?

Mental Health - we can get you the help you need

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 1)

Leaving a gift to charity in your will

Parnalls helps two leading Devon organic meat companies to become one

Katherine Flashman Kitson is appointed Governor of St Joseph's School, Launceston

Financing your home purchase (Part 2)

New rules on debt recovery may delay payment of consumer debts

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 2)

Our Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney for Your Business Interests

Financing your home purchase (Part 1)

Careless replies to pre-contract commercial property enquiries could land you in trouble

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 1)

Property referrals and recommendations - what to consider

World Alzheimer’s Day: Three-step plan to get your legal affairs in order

Legal considerations when setting up a business (Part 2)

How to avoid falling victim to property fraud

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease? Part 3

Top 10 reasons to use a solicitor to make your lasting power of attorney

What legal considerations do I need to think about when setting up a business? (Part 1)

Why you need to update your will as soon as you decide to separate or divorce

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?  Part 2

The Bank of Mum and Dad: top tips when lending money to your children  

DON’T ACCEPT 50/50 ON AN ACCIDENT IN A COUNTRY LANE

The importance of insurance when life trips you up

The role of a court appointed deputy

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?

Ten common debt recovery mistakes

How do I know if my relative has the mental capacity to make a will?

Motorcycle accidents - what to consider when claiming compensation

Top tips for pushing your house purchase through as quickly as possible

How does the new inheritance tax perk work?

The ultimate personal injury and accident claim checklist

Jargon-busting guide to Lasting Power of Attorney

10 reasons to appoint a Personal Injury solicitor

What happens when mum or dad are ill and can’t make decisions?

How firms can take advantage of the rise of alternative finance

Should Stamp Duty be abolished?

Teenager paralysed after falling off a horse awarded £3 million in compensation

RBS to pay investors £800 million

Not happy with your accident claim lawyers?

Parnalls expands its litigation team

Hard work pays off for our Trainee Legal Executive.

Katherine Scott Flashman Kitson celebrates 20 years

How will the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) affect you?

Exciting new business hub unveiled in North Cornwall

Be careful what you post on Facebook

Parnalls rolls out the support at Wadebridge Wheels

New trainee solicitor appointed

Mark Parnall comments on Brexit in The Law Society Gazette