We recently gave a presentation about Powers of Attorney and Wills and the laws of intestacy for the residents, their family and members of the public at the Care UK care home at Liberham Lodge in Bookham. Like many aspects of law, not all the issues associated with these important documents are widely understood or as straightforward as they might appear.

Powers of Attorney

You may know you can currently make two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; one covering financial affairs and the other for health and welfare but what exactly does each do? There is also the Enduring Power of Attorney – what is it and is it still valid?

Crucially, what is the procedure for managing the affairs of someone who has lost mental capacity if no Power of Attorney is in place? How much does it cost and how long does it take to become a Deputy and who pays the bills during that time?

There are also some key questions to ask at the point of applying for a Power of Attorney, such as when do you want someone else to take on your financial affairs, when you lose capacity or before that time?


Similarly, most people will understand the importance of having a valid, up to date Will in place. Of course, thinking about death is never going to be easy so many will put this important task off. However, if you were aware of the rules of intestacy you would know that your estate may well not end up where you wanted.

Even if you have a valid Will, it can easily become irrelevant. For example, many people had previously been advised to prepare ‘Nil Rate Band’ Discretionary Trusts to ensure that each Nil Rate Band allowance was ring-fenced so that the use of the allowance was not lost. However this is now not necessarily beneficial for IHT purposes, as from 2007, the law changed to allow the transfer of the Nil Rate Band between spouses.  So, depending on your circumstances, it may not be necessary to include a trust like this in your will anymore but there could still be benefits in relation to care fees. All these questions and issues require careful consideration and proper advice.

Our Private Client Team are happy to come out to your care home, WI meeting or other social groups to help to explain the detail behind getting this part of your financial and family affairs in good order. Just call us on 01372 750100 and ask for Dawn Pearce or email dawn.pearce@wellerslawgroup.com to discuss this further.