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The importance of estate planning

The “Will thing” – everyone has thought of it but no one has gotten around to putting it in place. We often overlook wealth preservation thinking that younger people do not need it but estate planning concerns anyone at any age.

The first step in establishing a good estate plan is to create a will. A will is necessary, no matter how many possessions you have or however simple you think your financial affairs are. Drawing up a will facilitates a faster, easier, and correct distribution of your estate, while not having one might make the process time consuming and costly.

Wealth preservation is not just about wills; it also involves preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) under the Office of the Public Guardian. As with creating a will, preparing an LPA concerns anyone at any age as it may affect anyone due to illness, disability or mental impairment, rendering you incapable of handling or managing your own affairs and finances, like handling a bank, building a society account or transacting a house sale.

 

The LPA allows you to specifically appoint somebody, like your family or loved ones, to look after you and your personal welfare and healthcare if you are unable to do so yourself. This effectively replaces what is commonly known as the “Living Will”.

Should the situation arise where we do not have an LPA, a Deputy will be appointed by the Court to manage your affairs for you. This will require significant legal fees, and the Court Appointed Deputy may not be someone you know personally, and hence may not be aware of your personal circumstances.