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Making a Will, and keeping it regularly updated is key to staying in control and being clear about exactly what you want to happen to your estate after your death to ensure it’s inherited by the people you want to benefit.

It can include everything from how you want your funeral arranged to making sure your favourite charity is remembered and, crucially, helps avoid difficulties and confusion for your relatives and friends.

A properly drawn up Will also gives you the chance to take wealth preservation steps to structure your affairs, not only to minimise your liability for inheritance tax, but to maximise tax relief too.

Without a Will things can get a lot more complicated, slow and costly. Your estate will have to be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy which may mean your family don’t inherit as much as you want them to or, indeed, anything at all.

It’s particularly important when you’re cohabiting because, unlike married couples, you don’t have an automatic right to your partner’s estate if one of you dies without leaving a Will.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Sadly, in these days of soaring dementia diagnoses, many experts believe that taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney and regularly reviewing it is as important as having a Will.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust – known as your attorney – the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity at some point in the future.

There are two types – an LPA for financial decisions and an LPA for health and care decisions.

There is a common misconception that your spouse or civil partner has an automatic right to deal with both these areas if you lose the ability to do so. This isn’t the case. Without an LPA they won’t have the legal authority to act.

Complete your will online

Charges for the online Will service are £255 (plus VAT) for a single Will and £395 (plus VAT) for two similar Wills.

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Who should I contact – Wills and Mental Capacity

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