A Fresh Start for 2023

The start of a new year traditionally brings hope of a fresh start and better times. With 2023 expected to be another year of uncertainty, planning for the future and preparing for the unexpected has never been more important. Katie Love, an Associate at RDP Law and an Affiliate of the Society for Trust and Estates Practitioners, explains why estate planning should be a top priority this year.

Where there’s a Will…

The tumultuous nature of the last few years has highlighted, for many, the importance of taking control of your affairs and planning for the future. The prospect of making a Will is not something many of us relish, and it is often a topic that people are reluctant to discuss. However, putting off this vital task can be a costly and sometimes stress-inducing oversight.

It is a common misconception that the entirety of your estate will pass by default to the most obvious beneficiaries in your life (be it a spouse or children), but that is not always the case. The rules surrounding intestate estates (i.e. where a person has died without leaving a valid Will in place) are complex and family members are often overwhelmed by the challenges of administering an intestate estate following the loss of a loved one. Making a Will ensures that your wishes are met and that your estate passes to those who you wish to benefit.

Love and Marriage

It is particularly important to give thought to your Will planning when extended families and second marriages are relevant. Without a correctly drafted Will in place, children of the family from the first marriage could find themselves completely disinherited. Seeking advice from a specialist can safeguard against such an eventuality and provide you, and your family, with peace of mind.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Another equally important issue to consider when planning for your future is what will happen to you in the event that you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the case that next of kin will automatically get a say in their loved one’s affairs if that loved one loses the ability to act for themselves. The only way to ensure that someone you know and trust can act in your best interests and look after your affairs is to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. Making an LPA provides you with the freedom and reassurance of knowing who will make decisions for you in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.

It’s not always easy to make a fresh start, but a new year is an opportunity for change. For more information regarding estate planning, or to make an appointment to discuss your requirements, please contact Katie Love on 01633 413500 or by email at individuals@rdplaw.co.uk.