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Don't assume - act now for peace of mind.

Many of us make assumptions about what will happen when we are no longer here or are unable to make decisions for ourselves.

Most people expect all their assets will automatically go to their next of kin after they die but that's not the case.

Spouses don't automatically inherit 100 per cent of your estate and unmarried partners inherit nothing regardless of the amount of time you have been together. Children under 16 years of age, who lose their parents, do not just go to a family member, they will be placed in foster care unless there is a proper Guardianship Order in place.

Similarly, your nearest and dearest won't necessarily be able to act on your behalf if you become mentally or physically incapacitated.

That's why it's important to protect your estate and your family by having a will in place, while appointing a Power of Attorney gives someone you trust the ability to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.

A Power of Attorney must be put in place when you are fit and able to do so as it cannot be done if you have lost capacity or been diagnosed with an illness that compromises your capacity to make decisions.

With more than 30 years' experience ILAWS are estate planning professionals, who produce wills, Powers of Attorney and trust documents.

Case Study Elizabeth Comrie, 76, Broxburn Recent poor health prompted Elizabeth to contact ILAWS so that she could have all her affairs in order.

She had a Power of Attorney set up and a will put in place so that she, her family and her estate will all be protected in the future.

Elizabeth said: "I didn't have a Power of Attorney. I haven't been well this year and I decided that I needed to have that in place. I had a will already but I wanted it changed.

"I definitely have peace of mind now that everything has been sorted.

"The law is a funny thing. I have worked all my life and I want to make sure the right people get the benefit of it."

She added: "I saw an article about ILAWS in a newspaper and thought I would give them a call and then decide from there what to do.

"When I called, they were really helpful and I liked the sound of what they had to say. They were very pleasant.

"Elaine very kindly came out to the house and sat with me and went through it all. I felt like I could ask her anything I wanted to ask her.

"She has also kept in touch with me to make sure everything is OK.

"I found ILAWS to be very good and really helpful. I would certainly be happy to go to ILAWS for anything else. I would definitely recommend ILAWS."

Names have been changed.

Pictures posed by models.

Case Study: Allan Muir, 76, Ayrshire Allan knows all too well the importance of setting up a Power of Attorney.

His mother had dementia and had no Power of Attorney in place, meaning an already distressing time was even more difficult.

Allan feels he has peace of mind now that he knows his wife and daughter will be able to act on his behalf if he ever finds himself in the position of being mentally or physically incapacitated.

He said: "My mother had dementia and, after I saw what happened, I decided I would have a Power of Attorney put in place.

"It's my wife and my daughter who have been appointed.

"You hope you won't need it but this gives me peace of mind - especially with what happened with my mother. I was her only son and I didn't have Power of Attorney, so I couldn't do anything. It was a difficult time.

"We had wills, Power of Attorney and the house put into a trust all arranged through ILAWS.

"I just felt like I was getting to the age where I should have this Funeral Plans from sorted. I wanted to make sure my family would be looked after."

Allan was delighted with the straightforward service he received from ILAWS. He added: "I was very happy with the service. There were no problems.

"The fellow who came out to the house couldn't have been nicer. I would definitely recommend ILAWS to anyone else."

Five reasons you should write a will ILAWS share the key reasons why everyone should plan for their future with a will and Power of Attorney.

Husbands and wives do not automatically inherit 100 per cent of each other's estate - if you die without writing a will, the law says who gets what.

It can take 12 to 18 months to divide an estate without a will, and benefactors will be left with large legal fees.

Children under 16 are not automatically placed with your next of kin, therefore it's important to ensure the right person cares for them in your absence.

You might wish to leave specific items to family and friends. For example, a cash lump sum or a piece of furniture.

It costs as little as PS40 to plan for your future.

Elaine'v' ery kindly came out to the house and went through it all. She has kept in touch to make sure everything is OK I just felt like I was getting to the age where I should have this sorted. I wanted my family to be looked after
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 2, 2018
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