1. Will: this is absolutely vital to get drafted. Your Will ensures that the people your wish to benefit from your estate do so. If you pass away intestate – without a Will – your estate may not be distributed as you wish it to be and individuals who are not members of your immediate family are unlikely to be provided for.
2. Money matters: there are lots of money matters to think about. You may wish to engage in planning for inheritance tax, you may wish to consider setting up a trust for your children or grandchildren and you may wish to organise asset management or equity release. If you are unsure about your options and what would work best for you, make sure you have a chat to a financial advisor or a lawyer who specialises in these areas.
3. Lasting powers of attorney: a lasting power of attorney will give someone the power to make certain decisions for you if the time comes when you need them to. For example, you may wish your daughter to be able to control your finances if you get taken into hospital. Choose your attorney carefully as you want an attorney who will always have your best interests in mind. Also take the time to have a chat to them about whether or not they would be happy to take on this responsibility for you.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney – a health and welfare lasting power of attorney or a property and financial affairs power of attorney. You can register one or both types of lasting power of attorney depending on your wishes. A lasting power of attorney must be registered when you are of full mental capacity to understand your decisions.
4. Nursing home costs: the cost of care in old age can be large. You should ensure that you plan for your nursing home fees well in advance, as it may be possible for you to reduce the amount you have to pay out for your care if you engage in clever financial planning.
If you haven’t already thought about these four things, ensure you make plans before it is too late. Planning for old age is important as it will mean that when the time comes both you and your loved ones will find everything a lot simpler to deal with.