What do we do about Wills and POA?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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omitsomits Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
We are a couple. We want to do our wills and give each other POA but we cannot include either of our kids as executors or in any way handle our affairs as they are unreliable with money. Some thoughts are:

1. We do not want to pay a solicitor - not enough funds!
2. We have agreed that if one of us fails then the other will go to a solicitor at that time and arrange for an executor.
3. We thought of doing reciprocal POAs now to allow for mental health problems.
4. We will do reciprocal Wills.
5. problem if both of us go at same time - not planning that though!

Any advice welcome on this and perhaps draft Will text.

Thanks for your time.
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Replies

  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    omits wrote: »
    We are a couple. We want to do our wills and give each other POA

    As a more general question, is there much benefit to spouses have mutual POAs? What are the circumstances under which a spouse would not be able to make a particular decision, but a spouse with a POA would?
  • daskadaska Forumite
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    Draw up your PoAs (that's two for each of you: health and money) and get them properly witnessed etc. That only costs as much as printing the forms and paying attention to what you're doing.

    A decent Will will cover what happens in the event of you dying within a x amount of time of each other.

    Who are you planning to name as beneficiary of the survivors estate? Will the kids be beneficiaries? Are they just not responsible enough to carry out the role of executor because they're too young? Will maturity change that or are they both convicted thieves who would willingly defraud each other? Or are they irresponsible due to learning difficulties that might require any estate you leave to be handled by a third party?

    Those questions are only the tip of the iceberg... please use a solicitor! If funds are an issue then make your Wills in November using WillAid.
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  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    Start with who you want to be benificiaries and work back.


    How large is the estate likely to be, if you keep your assets simple it should not cost much to administer even by a solicitor.
  • dzug1dzug1 Forumite
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    You can't have a will without executors - so point 2 fails - by default it would fall to your kids anyway.

    5 is one of the main reasons for making a will - you do need to plan for it for even if you think it unlikely. At this stage in your lives** it is actually quite likely - both of you getting killed in a car crash is more likely than one of you dying young from illness.

    edit ** maybe I'm making an unwarranted assumption there but I'll let it stand
  • dzug1dzug1 Forumite
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    As a more general question, is there much benefit to spouses have mutual POAs? What are the circumstances under which a spouse would not be able to make a particular decision, but a spouse with a POA would?

    If either spouse has assets of their own (ie not everything is joint) then there's every benefit
  • rpcrpc Forumite
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    As a more general question, is there much benefit to spouses have mutual POAs? What are the circumstances under which a spouse would not be able to make a particular decision, but a spouse with a POA would?

    I cannot access my wife's bank accounts (nor can she access mine). This is the same for any single-name account.

    We will be getting continuing power of attorney so that, should one of us be incapacitated, we can still manage the family finances. The few joint accounts that we have would not be enough if there was a long-term problem.
  • loubelloubel Forumite
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    If you have a joint account and one of you loses capacity, continued access to the account before an attorney is appointed is only available at the bank's discretion.
  • rpcrpc Forumite
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    loubel wrote: »
    If you have a joint account and one of you loses capacity, continued access to the account before an attorney is appointed is only available at the bank's discretion.

    Indeed - I never knew this.

    The British Bankers Association in fact advise that access will only be when presented with a CoP order or a valid POA (i.e. no discretion).

    I wonder what the background for this is - if a joint account holder dies, the account is transferred in full yet if they lose capacity then all access is blocked.
  • loubelloubel Forumite
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    rpc wrote: »
    I wonder what the background for this is

    I believe it is because a joint account relies on your ongoing authority to allow each of you access to the funds. If one person loses capacity then they can no longer authorise this and so the bank should request evidence that someone else has authority to take over the account on their behalf.
  • omitsomits Forumite
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    Wonderful of you all to respond. Here are my further thoughts based on your comments:

    rpc, just been through the pain of a CoP order for MIL. If as is our case we have separate and joint accounts a POA will be required. Doing two of these (£280) will be cheaper than CoP (£400 unless have low assets). For a joint account depends on bank. Note the POA is only for mental incapacity, the Will is required for death.

    loubel, yes but the other account holder can use it anyway (make sure you each have a debit card) so probably only need to tell them on death of one.

    NOTE: I am only considering a financial POA as mostly the NHS process deals with health decisions. Just make sure you tell your spouse your wishes or if this situation is tense then perhaps a health POA is better - don't know myself.

    dzug1, good (2nd) point. On point 2 my idea is that once the existing Will is discharged then the other will then make a new Will for their beneficiaries but (in our case) run by a solicitor. If both of us POCs then kids will need to work at getting Probate themselves!

    getmore4less, estate currently property and cash but below IHT.

    daska, thanks will(!) look at WillAid.

    securityguy, hmm, I think it best for the own accounts access otherwise one would have to go though CoP (complicated process not the least getting the medics statement!).

    Really looking forwards to more input, thanks.

    Thanks for your time.
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