We, at Hindle Campbell Law, are happy to discuss both Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney by telephone, by email and by normal post. We are sure that we can continue to advise and assist you in gaining some peace of mind at this time.
The Coronavirus Pandemic is a global tragedy which is affecting tens of thousands of families in a very personal way. Many families and friends routinely offer informally assistance to their more elderly friends and family. This has always been of great assistance to the more vulnerable, or those who simply lack mobility or even just confidence, and of course those of us who are unwell.
The informal nature of much of this support has been put under severe pressure the necessity of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. When you cannot take a friend or relative to the bank or the post office or to the solicitors or even to the supermarket to ensure basic necessities in place and to keep their affairs in order then this inevitably leads to anxiety and stress at what is already a uniquely stressful time. The current crisis has focussed many people on trying to work out what can be done to help their loved ones.
The major practical step that anyone can take to enable anyone else to assist them if and when it is required, is to put Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPA’) in place. Once your LPA for Property and Financial Affairs has been formally registered then your chosen attorney or attorneys can, at your invitation or should you lose mental capacity, deal with your property and financial affairs on your behalf. In the current crisis this means that they could go to the bank and manage your money, in practical terms pay your bills, withdraw money for you, use your money to pay for your shopping etc. They could register your LPA with the utility providers, or the broadband, TV and phone companies, or the local authority or the DWP, and then sort out any problems, or make sure you are just getting the best deal or just as much help as possible. An attorney is required to act in your best interests at all times. A second option regarding issues of your Health and Welfare is also available.
It is also inevitable that a lot of people are giving thought to their own mortality when the huge scale of deaths from COVID-19 is being reported every day. People are considering what would happen if they were to die. A Will has always been available to allow you to dictate what you would want to happen on your death. In our experience having a Will (and an LPA) in place often gives our clients a certain amount of peace of mind in knowing that they have done all they can and their affairs are in order. When anyone dies without a Will then the ‘rules of intestacy’ dictate what will happen to your estate. Sometimes this will replicate exactly what you want to say in your Will, but it also often does not. Everyone should check whether they need a Will by making a simple enquiry at Hindle Campbell Law.
We are all aware that everyone’s finances are being stretched by the crisis. We work closely with Cancer Research UK to provide their Free Wills service. You could use this scheme to put simple Wills in place at no charge to you but you would be encouraged to consider including Cancer Research UK in your Will. We also work with any charities who are part of the National Free Wills Network. If you make enquiries of your favourite charity you might find that they are also able to assist you with making a free Will at Hindle Campbell Law.
We, at Hindle Campbell Law, are happy to discuss both Wills and LPAs by telephone, by email and by normal post. We are sure that we can continue to advise and assist you in gaining some peace of mind at this time.