You’re getting married, there’s a lot to think about so you are probably not giving too much time or consideration to the need for a Will or making a Power of Attorney – but you should!
As you journey through life together time will pass very quickly, circumstances change and then, before you know it, something happens and you haven’t put those plans in place to safeguard:
- Your wishes over the distribution of your estate
- Your care in failing health
- Care of your children
Most people are aware of what a Will is, why it is important to make and the implications of dying without one but in so many cases they just don’t get around to it. Did you know, for example, that about half of married couples in the UK do not have a Will? This can lead to all sorts of problems and is certainly something to think about.
What the majority of people are less familiar with is the need for a Power of Attorney – even if you are married and even if you have made a will.
What is a Power of Attorney?
The Power of Attorney means having someone who can act for you in your best interests and in accordance with your wishes should you become incapable. You can name one or more people to carry out this responsible task and it will usually apply in cases of finance, property or health and welfare.
We would always advise married couples to take out a Power of Attorney alongside the making of a Will and it’s important that having recognised the need for a Power of Attorney, both spouses should make one.
One spouse often needs to act for the other and requires the legal authority of a Power of Attorney to do so. The presumption that a next of kin automatically assumes those duties and rights is not necessarily the case.
Treatment decisions, care plans and end of life plans cannot be made without the legal consent granted by a Power of Attorney. Without it an order will need to be obtained from a court. There could also be problems with any joint bank account. Accounts can be tied up until the bank sees a Power of Attorney or is presented with a Court of Protection Order. The absence of either can pose problems in accessing the account.
Think about the children
Another consideration for newlyweds has to be the care of any future children should anything happen to both parents. This can be done through Parental Guardianship – a formal agreement which gives the chosen party the legal authority and powers to carry out the duties and responsibilities of guardian.
As with the Power of Attorney, setting up Parental Guardianship will clearly set out your wishes regarding your children should anything happen in the future – a legal safeguard to give you the peace of mind in knowing they will be cared for should the need arise.
We have many years experience drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney and Parental Guardianships. Whatever your needs and wishes, we will draft the correct legally sound document to suit your requirements.
For more information on any of the issues raised and how we can help you, call us on 01952 305105 or 07786 548025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org