At Kitsons we understand that people with life limiting conditions such as advanced cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart failure and Motor Neurone Disease, are increasingly being advised by the NHS, Macmillan and hospices, to think ahead and make decisions about how and where, they would like to be cared for, when they are no longer able to communicate for themselves.
We see that the need for advance care planning is becoming ever more pressing and that people increasingly want us to make the connection, between what they are being told by their health care professionals and the impact of their failing health, upon their lives at home and work.
In addition to wills and probate, Kitsons’ Private Client Team have a number of ways in which they can help you to plan ahead, these include:
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
There are two types of LPA, one that covers property and financial affairs such as your house, bank accounts, investments, pension and one that covers health and welfare, making decisions about your day to day living, medical treatment and end of life care. Putting in place an LPA is your chance to choose individuals (attorneys) you want and trust to manage your financial affairs and property and to make decisions about your care, in circumstances where you are no longer able to, due to ill health (or alternatively, in the case of your financial affairs because you would prefer not to).
We all know that your circumstances or your health can change very quickly, whatever your age. So we strongly recommend that you plan ahead and put your LPAs in place now, rather than waiting until you need them, so your attorneys can act on your behalf immediately, if that is what you would like. If you do not have LPAs in place, it can be very stressful, time consuming and expensive for your loved ones or friends to seek permission from the Court of Protection, to obtain permission to help you.
We can draft you a bespoke, tailor made Will and set out:
- Your wishes – Let people know how you want your assets to be distributed on your death and who you want to deal with those assets for you, it could be your family, friends or Kitsons Solicitors.
- Guardians – If you have children under the age of 18, it is vital that you make your choice of guardians known. So that you can be sure of who will look after them in the event that you and their father/mother both die before your children reach 18.
- Gifts - You may have specific items (jewellery or other personal possessions) that you wish to leave to specific individuals when you die.
- Tax planning – your will can be structured in a tax efficient way to take advantage of the spouse or charity exemption, as well as agricultural and business property relief (depending on the nature of the assets that you own).
If you do not have a valid Will then your estate will be intestate and could pass to the Treasury or Duchy.
Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT)
We can help you let your doctors know your wishes about any treatment that you do not want to have and draft your ADRT. This is a legally binding document, but only if it satisfies certain requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
More than anything, it is important that you talk to professionals such as the Private Client Team at Kitsons, your doctor, your friends and family about your wishes, perhaps they can help you make the decisions you might have difficulty making. We are here to help you ensure you receive the care you want, for yourself and your property and to make certain that your voice is heard, both in life and death.