Statutory Wills, the cost of not planning ahead.
Did you know that over 50% of the adult population of England and Wales either do not have an up-to-date Will or a Will at all?
Having a Will is a very prudent thing to do, not just for you but the people that are close to you in your life. Having a Will in place allows you to put your estate and affairs in order so that your loved ones close to you will benefit from your estate once you’ve passed away.
However, sometimes things are not as straightforward as you would like them to be. What if your Beneficiaries of your estate and or your Executors all passed away prior to your passing?
Of course, the obvious solution here would be to rewrite your will. Then again, if during the same period of time of losing your Executors and or Beneficiaries you had lost mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, what happens then?
Well, if you had planned ahead, you would have in place a Lasting Power of Attorney where you would have appointed people that you know and trust to make decisions on your behalf. In this case your Attorneys can apply to the Court of Protection for a Statutory Will which falls under the Mental Health Act of 2005. In this case, certainly more work and cost would be required but at the end of the process you would have a Statutory Will which has the same powers as a standard Will.
What IF you haven’t planned ahead and did not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place? All is not lost but it does become a little more complicated in applying for a Statutory Will.
In this circumstance, prior to the Statutory Will application, someone, normally a family member or friend and in some cases a Professional can apply to the Court of Protection to act as a Deputy to make decisions on your behalf. It is worth noting, compared to applying for Lasting Power of Attorney, Deputyship can be far more costly and time consuming.
However, once Deputyship has been granted, the application for a Statutory Will can proceed.
This is not an easy process and highlights the importance of planning ahead so that you can wherever possible maintain a good quality of life supported by those that you know and love and once you have passed away, your wishes within your Statutory Will are carried out giving you peace of mind.