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Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney so important?

Posted: 21st January 2019

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to decide who to appoint to make decisions on your behalf about your property & finances and/or your health & welfare. An LPA can be used by your attorney(s) in the event that you are no longer able to make such decisions.

A Property & Financial Affairs LPA covers aspects concerning your property & finances. For example, your attorney can assist with managing your bank accounts or contacting various financial institutions on your behalf. They can also act in more significant decisions for example, selling or purchasing a property. This LPA can be used both with your consent and in the event you are no longer able to make decisions yourself.

A Health & Welfare LPA allows your appointed attorney(s) to make decisions about your personal welfare for example your day to day care, decisions in relation to medical treatment and also life sustaining treatment, if you have expressly authorised this in your LPA. A Health & Welfare LPA can only be used if you lack capacity to make these decisions yourself.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society by 2025 more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia. If you ever lost capacity, handling your affairs becomes virtually impossible.

If you are unable to manage your own affairs there is no automatic right for your spouse, partner, children, family member or friend to access your money or manage your personal affairs.

This is why an LPA is vital to help protect you and your family.

If you do not have an LPA in place and you were no longer able to manage your affairs your family can face the drawn out process of applying to the Court of Protection to appoint them as Deputy to act on your behalf. The cost of this application is much more expensive than an LPA application. Even more concerning is the choice of who to appoint lies with the Court, not with you, potentially resulting in someone acting who you may have not wanted to.

You can instruct a Solicitor to ensure your LPA is properly drafted and registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01429 230031 or email at cdonworth@tmjlegal.co.uk


Warm Feelings from TMJ's Christmas Jumper Day

Posted: 21st December 2018

Well done to the staff at TMJ Legal Services' four offices who took part in Christmas Jumper Day in order to raise funds for Save the Children. 

Staff across the offices raised a grand total of £76 which has been donated to Save the Children. 

Thank you to all staff who took part and raised money for a very good cause. 

TMJ Legal Services would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients, staff and business contacts a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Our offices reopen at 9am on 2nd January 2019, although in the event of an emergency we can be contacted on 0800 0832485. 


Joint Tenancy or Tenants in Common?

Posted: 14th December 2018

If I am taking instructions for a Will and the clients own a property jointly I always ask whether they know if they hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common? More often than not the client does not know or will ask “what does that mean?”

It is important to establish how a jointly owned property is held as this may affect and alter the advice I give clients when they are thinking of making Wills.

What is a Joint Tenancy?

This type of tenancy means that the parties don’t have distinct shares in the property, they instead own equal shares of the property. If either party died, then the rule of “survivorship” applies. This means that the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant. This is regardless of whether or not the parties have Wills.

Tenants in Common

This type of tenancy differs from a joint tenancy in that each party has a distinct share in the property. For example, if two people owned a property, they may hold a 50% share. If either party died the rules of survivorship do not apply in these circumstances and the property will not automatically pass to the surviving owner. Instead, the deceased’s share in the property will fall into their estate and either pass under the terms of their Will or under the rules of intestacy.

Severing a Joint Tenancy

Owing a property under a joint tenancy may not be the right arrangement for some people, especially those who may be remarried couples and have respective children from previous marriages or relationships. It is possible to sever a joint tenancy so that owners can hold their property as tenants in common and then deal with their share of the property under the terms of their Will. This option is becoming increasingly common as a way of estate planning with a view of potentially limiting an inheritance tax liability, limiting care home fees or as a means of providing for children from previous relationships.

If this is something that you would like to discuss further, I would be happy to assist. Please call on 01429 235616 or email cdonworth@tmjlegal.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 


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