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Wills, LPAs & estate planning

Taking the worry out of estate planning

When was the last time you updated your Will? Perhaps you don’t have one at all. If not, you’re certainly not alone: 57% of the UK population doesn’t. Even fewer people – just 1% – have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), but they are arguably more important than your Will, as they dictate what happens to you and your money while you are still alive. 

Planning for your future is not pleasant, but doing it now will save your loved ones considerable stress and expense at an already difficult time. To help you get things in place quickly, BMA Law have launched a new Wills and LPA package, meaning you can write both documents in one go. Getting your LPA at the same time as your Will not only saves you time, but money too.  If you buy your LPA at the same time as getting your Will written, we will give you a 20% discount on the fees.

Fees guide

Fees are variable depending on the complexity of the documents and the size of the estate. Starting prices are as follows:

Combined Wills and LPA package
Save time and money with our Wills and LPA package. Receive a 20% discount when you buy your Will and LPA together.

Wills

  • Single Will from £150 for BMA members (£190 non-members)
  • Mirror Will from £200 for BMA members (£250 non-members)

Lasting Powers of Attorney

  • Individual LPA from £200 for one LPA, £325 for both (£250 / £460 non-members)
  • Joint LPA from £400 for one LPA, £600 for both (£500 / £750 non-members)

Why do I need a Will and LPA?

Wills

Dying without a valid Will means your estate will be shared out according to the laws of intestacy. These laws were written in 1925, and don’t take into account the complexities of our modern lives, so having a valid Will in place is increasingly important.

If your Will is valid, it will be followed according to your wishes at the time of writing and will not take into account any undocumented wishes you may have expressed since. So, it’s important to update it every five years, or after any major life event. For example, it is not commonly known that marriage invalidates existing Wills, but divorce does not.

A well-written Will can also help mitigate the impact that the UK’s 40% inheritance tax can have on your estate. We can also advise on the most appropriate and tax efficient ways in which you can move your assets to your loved ones before or after your death.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

LPAs allow you to proactively nominate someone you know and trust to act on your behalf if you need them to. There are two types of LPA – financial, and health and welfare. You can appoint whoever you like to act as your Attorney, as long as they are over 18 and, in the case of financial LPAs, have not been made bankrupt. LPAs are often seen as being only for the elderly, but mental or physical incapacity can strike without warning at any age, so it’s important to get one in place before it’s too late.

Contrary to common belief, having a joint bank account is not a substitute for a financial LPA. In fact, if the bank finds out that one of the account holders has lost capacity, it can freeze the account. In some cases, the other account holder may even be subject to criminal proceedings if funds have been accessed – even if it is to pay for your care.

If you lose capacity before you get round to writing an LPA, your family can apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed a ‘deputy’. However, these applications can cost up to £150,000 in solicitors’ fees, so getting an LPA in place can save a considerable amount of money.

Enduring Powers of Attorney: Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced the previous Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in 2007. EPAs made and signed before 1 October 2007 are still valid, but do not allow for health and welfare decisions to be made on your behalf.

Read our blog post: 8 things you really need to know about Lasting Powers of Attorney


Probate

If you are looking for probate support, BMA Law’s expert probate team can help. Whether you are seeking advice on specific issues, need help completing forms, or are looking for a solicitor to take on the full probate process, our fixed fee service means you don’t have to worry about spiralling hourly costs. Find out more >

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