MoneySaving Poll: Do you have a will & power of attorney in place?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_Sam_MFormer_MSE_Sam_M Former MSE
346 Posts
MSE Staff
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
Poll started 14 July 2015

Do you have a will & power of attorney in place?

There are two crucial documents that can protect your dependents in the future.
a) A will: This dictates what you want to happen to your assets if you die (eg, what happens to your house if you share it and aren’t married). See Cheap or Free Wills.
b) A lasting power of attorney: This allows loved ones to take over your finances if you lose your faculties, see the Power of Attorney guide.

So we want to know which you already have in place.

Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

Thanks! :)



  • edited 14 July 2015 at 1:42PM
    MartinslovechildMartinslovechild Forumite
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    edited 14 July 2015 at 1:42PM
    Is it just me who thinks this - or are there a majority of people who don't appear to have a will?

    The problems of not having a will were spelt out to me some years back when I was given an example of a guy who was going to create a will, but then failed to do so before he unfortunately died just a few months later.

    The guy (let's call him Pete) died. He had remarried several years earlier and had two grown-up kids from his first marriage. Apparently the kids didn't get on with his second wife (let's call her Mary), so when it came to sorting out the will, Mary naturally assumed that the house, which they jointly lived in but was still registered in just his name, would be left to her. Not so...

    The rules at the time were such that legally, only the first £250K would be left to Mary because Pete had died intestate (i.e. without a will) and the remainder would be split between his next-of-kin - i.e. his two children who, remember, didn't like the second wife.

    The estate was valued at £800K. The house had to be sold to settle the remainder of the £550K (after IHT had been paid) to be paid to the two children.

    Remember - none of this is likely what Pete would have wanted. I'm quite sure that Pete would have wanted to leave the house to his second wife but also place his percentage of their shared equity into trust, such that on Mary's death, his assets would revert to his two children at that point.

    It can cause real issues - and all for the sake of spending about £70!!

    I once had a conversation about this with my boss. He said he didn't have a will because "(his wife) Kate will get it all anyway". I explained that this isn't the case and that his house would need to be put onto the market just to satisfy the rules of intestacy, effectively meaning that Kate would need to move house unless she could borrow sufficient funds to pay the children their share. He made a will the following week. I suggest others reading this do the same.

    Don't assume that this affects only those with large estates - many workers have life-insurance policies (or death-in-service grants) via their employers and life-insurance policies from when they applied for a mortgage. People with only small properties may well find that their estate might be worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result.

    A detailed explanation of the rules of intestacy is available at the Citizens Advice website.

    Note that the rules were amended slightly from the example I've given above, but they still follow a set pattern which is extremely unlikely to be what an individual would have chosen had they set up a will.
    Mortgage Feb 2001 - £129,000
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  • GigervampGigervamp Forumite
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    I don't have a will because I have no savings or assets to leave. The house I live in has only my husband's name on the deeds. As it was given to him by his family, I don't feel it would be right to insist I get put on the deeds so that I can leave a share of it to my kids (who are not his and are all adults now).

    We have a joint bank account which is used for the groceries and anything I wish to purchase, and he also has another account that his wages go into and the bills come out of, so even if our joint account gets frozen upon my death, it won't affect the bills being paid.
  • momistmomist Forumite
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    I reckon most people are put off doing this because
    1. They have to find a lawyer they can trust
    2. They are uncertain how much it is going to cost
    3. They hesitate to make such momentous decisions, such as who gets what and who to appoint as executors.
    Cumulatively, this paralyses their commitment.
  • LameWolfLameWolf Forumite
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    One of the first things we did after we married was to update our wills, and sort out power of attorney for each other.

    Mr LW is ten years older than me, and I have a worsening autoimmune illness, so it just seemed the sensible thing to do it before there was a crisis situation.:o

    We used the same solicitor we'd both used for our respective divorces from our former spouses.
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
  • ScarletBeaScarletBea Forumite
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    Can someone explain why a single person with no children needs a will?
    Who gets the money if there's no will, isn't it my closest relative?
    Being brave is going after your dreams head on
  • happyinfloridahappyinflorida Forumite
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    We're in our 50's now and have only just made a will due to the fact that when our children were younger we were very worried over my parents getting control of them if we were killed/died in an accident. We sought advice from a solicitor who said we could say in our will that we didn't want my parents to have control of them but that would not necessarily stop that from happening!

    This actually stopped us from making one! Thank goodness my dad's dead now and my mum's completely insane - so no worries at all now.

    They were vile when I was young and my mother took great pleasure in making my life as difficult as possible in any way she could.
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    I have a will but it needs updating, which I am going to do in the very near future.

    I don't have a POA - don't really know anyone I could appoint to do this for me. I suppose will have to appoint my son, although the thought of it will worry him to death :(. My husband is the same age as me, so I don't see any point in putting him.

    Note to self: Get these important things done ASAP!
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • irisiris Forumite
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    Is it worth having a will? Read the following
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