What information will I need to provide during the call?
The initial consultation is primarily to discuss what you want your Will to achieve and answer any questions that you may have about the Will making process. There is nothing specific that you will need to prepare; however, it is helpful to share with your Will consultant an idea of who you would like to benefit and what assets you have so that they understand what will be required of your Will. For example, if you have any children or vulnerable adults who you would like to inherit from your estate, they will be able to provide you with information regarding trusts.
Following your initial consultation, if you decide to go ahead with your choice of documents, your consultant will book you an instruction appointment. You will be asked to gather some details before this call to ensure that your Will covers all necessary aspects. This will include details of your chosen executors and beneficiaries and a general roundup of your assets and liabilities. Your consultant will send you a preparation document prior to the appointment to ensure that you know what to expect.
How long does it take to make a Will?
Your instruction appointment with one of our qualified Will Consultants will last approximately one hour, although this maybe longer if you are also making an LPA.
Following your appointment, we will draft your documents and send to you for approval before producing the final documents for you to sign. The whole process typically takes around two to three weeks to complete, although if you require your documents faster, we can accommodate this. Your Will is valid from the moment it is signed and witnessed.
Where a trust is included in your Will, we may need to sever your tenancy with the Land Registry, although the paperwork for this will be submitted immediately, the Land Registry can take several weeks to make the required changes.
Do I need a solicitor?
You can create a Will without input from a solicitor. The Will writers at My Will Expert are fully qualified members of The Society of Will Writers, so you can be sure that your document is being crafted by a professional. The prices offered at My Will Expert are typically up to 35% less than those charged by your local high street solicitor. However, people sometimes choose to name a solicitor firm as an executor in their Will – our Will consultants are happy to discuss this with you and include this in your Will if you wish.
Who will look after my children?
You can use your Will to appoint a guardian for your children. It is important to discuss this with the person you would like to select prior to naming them in your Will, as should they be unable or unwilling to do so, your Will could be made invalid.
Can you store my Will?
At My Will Expert, we offer free storage for your Will, unlike other Will writing services that often charge an additional ongoing fee for this service.
Will my family need to pay inheritance tax?
Inheritance tax is typically payable on your estate when its value exceeds the tax-free threshold, which is currently £325,000. Your My Will Expert consultant will be able to advise on the best way to minimise inheritance tax if your estate is valued above the threshold.
What will happen to my business?
You can use your Will to name a successor to your business.
What will happen to my debts?
In the event of your death, your executor will be responsible for gathering all your assets (money, property, possessions) and liabilities (debts, taxes). They will then be required to use money from the estate to pay off any debts before distributing the remaining value amongst your beneficiaries in accordance with your Will. If you have more debts than assets, any debts that cannot be paid from your estate will typically be written off. However, your beneficiaries will not receive anything from the estate.
In some rare cases, such as if your debt is held jointly with another person, the debt can be passed on.
What is mental capacity?
Mental capacity refers to the ability of an individual to make and communicate decisions. Someone may lack mental capacity if they cannot fully understand details relating to a decision, whether this is what the decision entails, the options available, or potential impacts. Someone may also lack capacity if they cannot retain information long enough to make an informed decision.
A lack of capacity may be due to any number of things. However, some of the more common reasons relate to:
- Mental illness
- Stroke or brain injury
- Learning difficulties
- Alcohol or substance misuse
- Side effects of an illness or treatment
Who decides if someone has mental capacity?
If you lose mental capacity, you will need to be assessed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. You cannot be considered to lack capacity unless this has been determined by an assessment, even if you are seen to be making irrational or misinformed decisions. If you are concerned for a loved one, it is advisable to have them assessed.
Assessment is carried out by a medical practitioner, who will determine whether you can make informed decisions on your own. If you are found to lack capacity, an LPA can empower your chosen attorney to make decisions on your behalf.
How long does it take to make an LPA?
Your instruction appointment with one of our qualified Will Consultants will last approximately one hour, although this maybe longer if you are also giving instructions for your Will.
Following your appointment, we will draft your LPA(s) and send to you for approval before producing the final documents for you to sign. The whole process typically takes two to three weeks to complete, although if you require your documents faster, we can accommodate this.
If we are registering your LPA with the Official of Public Guardian (OPG) for you, we will submit your signed LPA(s) to the OPG once we have validated your signatures. The OPG’s timescale for processing registrations varies but can take up to 12 weeks. If you are concerned or have any questions relating to this timeline, please speak to your Will Consultant who will be happy to help.
I already have an EPA; do I need an LPA?
An EPA - Enduring Power of Attorney - is very similar to a Property & Financial Affairs LPA. If you created your EPA before October 2007, it is likely still valid and can be called upon should you ever lose capacity. However, it is worth considering an LPA if you would like more flexibility, particularly regarding your appointment of attorneys. Under the EPA rules, you can only appoint one attorney, meaning if they cannot act for any reason, your EPA becomes invalid. Under an LPA, you can nominate multiple attorneys or replacement attorneys, protecting you across a range of circumstances.
It is also worth noting that your EPA will not cover your Health & Welfare decisions, such as the type of support you receive if you are ever unable to take care of yourself due to mental or physical incapacity. If you would like to retain some control over your care situation, it is advisable to consider a Health & Welfare LPA.
Can a family member challenge a power of attorney?
Your family members, friends, or a professional involved in your care or financial situation can challenge a power of attorney if the attorney is not acting in your best interests. This is to ensure that no one can take advantage of your incapacity. For example, a doctor may refuse to follow an attorney’s direction if it is not in your best interests or if an Advance Decision overrides the LPA. Alternatively, a family member could file a petition with the Office of Public Guardian challenging the attorney; a court can potentially revoke their powers and appoint a guardian.
Can I appoint more than one attorney under an LPA?
Yes, you can appoint more than one attorney if you wish. If you choose multiple attorneys, you must decide whether they will act separately or jointly.
If they are to act separately, they are not required to consult on decisions and do not require to be together to carry out actions, such as closing a bank account or making decisions about your treatment. Alternatively, if you decide that your attorneys must act jointly, they will both need to agree on decisions and may both be required to be present when carrying out actions. Whilst this can make things more complex, it does provide a level of protection against poor decisions being made.
I do not need an LPA yet; why shouldn’t I wait until I am older?
An LPA is a form of protection for you and your loved ones if you lose capacity. Of course, whilst we do not expect ever to lose capacity ourselves, it can, unfortunately, happen to anyone at any time. Although people may typically expect degenerative illnesses to affect only the elderly, over 42,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease in the UK, for example, are under 65*. In addition, you could lose capacity for numerous other reasons, including if you are in an accident.
It is important to note that you can only create and register an LPA whilst you still have capacity, so it makes sense to do it as early as possible. If you were to lose capacity and did not have an LPA in place already, you would need someone to apply for a deputyship order to handle your affairs for you, which can be a much more lengthy, stressful, and expensive process.
*Source: Alzheimers.org.uk, 2021
What information will I need to provide during the call?
The first call you will have with your consultant will be to find out what you want your LPA to achieve and answer any questions you may have. There is nothing specific that you will need to prepare for this call.
If you decide to go ahead with an LPA, your consultant will book you an instruction appointment. Before this call, they will send you a preparation guide to let you know exactly what to expect. However, the main thing you will need to prepare is the personal details of those you wish to choose as attorney.
About My Will Expert
Who will write my Will?
All of our Will writers are qualified members of The Society of Will writers, so you can be sure that your documents are being crafted by professionals.
Who are The Society of Will Writers?
The Society of Will Writers is an external, self-regulatory body that aims to promote the importance of having a Will to the general public, and to provide a professional framework for companies operating within the estate planning industry. In order to be a member, companies must meet a strict criterion that aims to protect consumers.
How can you support me moving forwards?
Our commitment to you doesn't end with the creation of your Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. With My Will Expert, you can be sure that, however your situation may change in the future, you can count on us to keep your documents up to date. Not only do we offer you free storage of your documents, keeping them safe until they are needed, we will also be on hand if you need to make any alterations moving forwards.