Many of us have heard of the distressing case of Brenda Grant. Despite Brenda making a Living Will confirming she did not want life sustaining treatment her life was prolonged for 2 years before her wishes were respected. This was all because the existence of her Living Will was not known for some time. Whilst the family have been awarded a £45,000 settlement this does not compensate for the upset and distress they faced.
What is most concerning is that a legal document was made by Mrs Grant which was ignored.
How can you avoid this happening to you?
Baches prefer clients to make a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare instead of a Living Will.
What’s the difference?
A Living Will is a document you set up with your GP and your Solicitor, it can be time consuming to arrange and is seen as an outdated document by many which is why it is often ignored.
The Lasting Power of Attorney however allows you to record your wishes in a formal document, you then appoint Attorneys to carry out those wishes. They can decided whether you receive life sustaining treatment and other matters concerning your health.
The reason Baches prefer the Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is because when you make the document it has to be signed by the Donor (person making the document/patient), Certificate Provider (who confirms the Donor is able to understand and make decisions) and also the Attorneys. It also has to be registered with the Courts to be effective. As the document involves more parties and has to be registered for use, should the Donor end up in a situation such as Mrs Grants plenty of people will know about the Lasting Power of Attorney and therefore the Donors wishes are acted upon straight away.
If you have a Living Will and wish to change this to a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare or wish to protect yourself by making a Lasting Power of Attorney please contact our experienced Private Client team on 0121-553-3286.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A WILL IF YOU ARE COHABITING
In today’s society more people are cohabiting and less people are getting married.
The majority of people believe that when they have lived with someone for a certain period of time they are automatically entitled to inherit their partner’s estate when they pass away. This is often referred to as the common law man and wife but there is no such thing. Cohabitees are not automatically entitled to their Partner’s estate (unless they have been nominated to benefit from an asset upon death) and it would, in fact, pass through the intestacy rules, ie spouse, children and so forth.
If cohabiting couples do not make Wills it can cause many complications when one of them passes away, such as; :-
If you die without making a will, your partner may be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 on the basis that “reasonable financial provision” has not been made for them but there are specific requirements in order to qualify for eligibility to bring a claim under this Act.
The Courts take many matters into account when considering an application made under the Act and your partner could be awarded a considerably lesser sum than that you would wish for them to receive.
Court proceedings can be very stressful, costly and may damage relationships between your cohabitee and your family.
For these reasons it is, therefore, far better to make provision for your cohabitee by making a will, if you wish to make provision for them when you die. Our specialist will team will be happy to assist in ensuring your wishes are met. Contact us on 0121-553-3286 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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