More people than over are taking the trouble to make a Will, to ensure that their affairs are settled according to their wishes, and with minimum upset, fuss and cost after their death.

It is important that they make similar provisions to organise their affairs in case they should become unable to do so during their lifetime, through illness, accident or old age - an ever increasing possibility given advances in medicine.

REMEMBER, THE VALUE OF THE ESTATE COVERED BY YOUR WILL DEPENDS ON THE CAREFUL MANAGEMENT OF YOUR AFFAIRS DURING YOUR LIFETIME.

Where someone becomes incapable, without an Attorney, the Court of Protection will appoint a Receiver for them.

Anyone with a valid interest, even a local authority, may be considered or, in the absence of an applicant, a solicitor.

This takes time (during which important matters cannot be settled) can involve large legal bills, and will incur court fees. There are Appointment Fees, Commencement Fees, Transaction Fees, an Annual Administration Fee each year and even a Winding-Up Fee when you die.

This can add up to thousands of pounds of your money in which you have no say.

All this can be avoided easily, at little cost, through a legal document - an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) - but it must be done whilst you are fit. It cannot be done after the event.

  • An EPA appoints persons, of your choice to deal with your financial affairs on your behalf. Often those you have chosen to be the Executors of your Will are ideal.
  • An EPA can take effect immediately but often is restricted to come into force only if you became incapable.
  • An EPA can cover all your financial affairs, or it can be restricted.
  • Like your Will, an EPA can be amended or revoked at any time before it is registered.

When your attorney(s) consider that you are no longer able to look after your own affairs, they have a legal duty to register the EPA with the Public Guardianship Office.

There are many statutory safeguards against misuse. The Court will NOTwhymakewill_family_01.jpg register an EPA unless you have been notified first. If you are still fit, you can object and prevent registration.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is an extremely valuable document which needs to be drawn up with great care and competence.

The EPA itself has to be prepared in a legally prescribed form and can be rejected by the Court if the regulations are not scrupulously observed.

We are experienced in this specialist area and are happy to advise you.