Put your affairs in order


On your death or if your mental capacity becomes limited someone else, often a loved one, will have to deal with your financial affairs. If you have had to deal with someone else’s paperwork you will know the time, effort and expense that is involved.

What should you do now to put your affairs in order to help your loved ones?

1. Make a Will, or review this if it is more than 5 years old or if personal circumstances have changed.

2. Complete a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to enable someone to act on your behalf if you wish someone to deal with your financial matters when you no longer wish to, or are no longer capable of, dealing with your own affairs.

3. In addition to preparing the above legal documents, prepare some notes ‘in case of death or incapacity’ showing:-

  • Location of legal documents including Will, LPA, trust documents, deeds, title number of properties owned etc.
  • Location and list of important files at home (investments, bank accounts, tax returns, pensions etc). Note with regard to any bank accounts operated online, print out hard copies of details of the account including account number and current balances.
  • Professional advisers to be contacted (accountant, solicitor, financial adviser) and clubs and societies to be notified.
  • Existing appointments/legal relationships both commercial such as directorships, partnerships and voluntary positions such as trustee or treasurer of a local club or charity.
  • A record of gifts made (your executor will need to establish whether gifts were regular and paid out of income as part of your normal expenditure).

4. Ensure where possible banking arrangements can continue e.g. a joint bank account will usually continue to be operated by a surviving spouse.

5. Review ownership i.e. whether sole or joint, is appropriate for other assets.

6. Consider setting up a trust now and transfer assets into it, not necessarily for tax reasons, but to enable Trustees to manage the assets on your behalf.

If you would like any advice with regard to setting up a new Will, Lasting Power of Attorney or Trust or to discuss changes to the ownership of your assets, our in-house solicitor, Liz Hooley will be pleased to help. liz@tax.uk.com

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