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You may have a Will, if not then you really need to get one put in place.  If you do have one when was the last time you reviewed it, it is also important to review it on a regular basis to make sure it still achieves what you want to achieve.

Whilst the above comments regarding Wills are very important that is not the main reason for this Blog.  The main reason for this Blog is Lasting Powers of Attorney or LPA’s.  If you haven’t heard what these are then they come in two forms and are intended to appoint someone of your choosing to manage your affairs if you are incapacitated for any reason.

LPA’s come in two forms the first covers your health and welfare.  This is to ensure someone can speak on your behalf if you need treatment and are unable to speak for yourself.  The most common time that this is used is where an individual has an illness such as Alzheimer’s.

The second form covers the management of your property and financial affairs.  It is this area which as Accountants we are most concerned to ensure people have in place.  Without this LPA if you are incapacitated no-one will be able to access your bank account or manage any of your assets.  This would cause enormous hardship for your family.

It is possible to get an LPA sorted after you have become incapacitated but our current understanding is that it takes about 6 months to go through the Court of Protection and costs about £5,000 in professional fees.  Accordingly putting both LPA’s in place before they are needed is the most sensible option.

Having LPA’s in place is like insurance, you hope you will never need it but it is there in case you do.  The one major difference to insurance is that you do not have to renew it every year and there is only one payment involved.

If you need more information on getting LPA’s put in place then please contact Nigel Reynolds by email at nigelreynolds@reynoldsandco.co.uk or by telephone on 07885490484.