Will Writing and Lasting Powers of Attorney

As pressures of life increase and become more acute our thoughts turn more frequently to not only today’s difficult decisions that we have to make ourselves but also to the decisions that might have to be made on our behalf by close members of our family and perhaps our professional advisers when sadly we ourselves are no longer able to make such decisions due to serious illness or death. 

At a time when close relatives are having to face up to the realities and upset of losing a loved one or seeing them ravaged by dementia based illness, the last thing that those relatives need is the anguish of uncertainty of what “the right thing is to do” and “who should make the required decisions”. Furthermore, legalities of dealing with property, investments and even day to day bank transactions can become a nightmare if there are no safeguards in place for others to take the necessary and appropriate actions.

So, what measures can be put in place to help with these problems?

Firstly, the need to put in place an appropriate will that ensures your assets are dealt with and distributed according to your wishes and not how the law dictates when there is no valid will.

We can offer a professional and “made to measure” will writing service by having discussions with our clients to establish

  • the extent of their estate
  • whether there are any inheritance tax issues
  • what the client’s objectives are 
  • and recommend and draft the appropriate will to meet the clients needs rather than recommending a one size fits all approach with clauses that are unnecessarily complex.

Secondly the need to put into place Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).  These documents can be made to provide instructions by an individual for who and under what circumstances can legally make Property/Financial and/or Health/Welfare decisions when the individual can no longer make the decisions themselves.

Our Senior Partner and Head of Legal Services, Mike Dodden J.P., F.C.A. has spent over 40 years advising small and medium sized businesses and private individuals on financial and taxation matters. Since 2014 he has headed our probate and estate administration department and now provides a Will Writing and Power of Attorney service. His view is that the most appropriate advice can only be given if we have a clear idea of the objectives of the client and the extent of their estate. For those reasons’ advice will only be provided after an interview to discuss in detail the client’s affairs and wishes.

Fees for drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney start at £130 plus VAT although discounts of up to £20 plus VAT per document are available if both Property/Finance and Health/Welfare are prepared or where documents are prepared for both husband/wife or partners. The current Registration Fee for LPAs payable to the Office of The Public Guardian is £82 per document.

Fees for will writing vary according to the complexity and time taken but simple wills start at £175 plus VAT.

Please contact Mike Dodden on 01278 422391 for a free no obligation 15-minute telephone chat or to arrange a free no obligation 15-minute interview to discuss wills and/or Lasting Powers of Attorney.

© Bridgwater Chamber 2020