Wills and Power of Attorney questions.

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Hi forum,

My father was diagnosed with inoperative cancer last year, and we as a family are looking to make the necessary arrangements so when the eventual bad times do arrive we are prepared, saving us less stress.

My father is married to my mum, and they both own their own house.

They both have pensions, my father brings in the majority as my mums pension is quite small.

Both my parents have made it clear that should anything happen to either of them that the estate should be split equally between their sons and daughters, and then for them to decide on how to distribute their share (i.e to grandchildren). We as a family all get on well, with no disputes, so having this in writing for their will should keep things reasonably straight forward.

I and one of my sisters have been asked by my parents to be executors for them in their Will, and a Power of Attorney if required.

I am looking into a power of attorney for my father, so should his health deteriorate suddenly at least we have things in place to manage his money and accounts.

As my father is married to his living wife... is a power of attorney neccessary? Does my mum's rights as his wife enable her to take control of his assets should it be needed, or would it be best to go for a power of attorney still?

I have seen it is possible to go through the process of Power of Attorney online with a fee of over £100.... but also that solicitors do it, which saves headache of form filling/making mistakes, however it looks like the fees are quite high for them to do it.

I would appreciate any help and info on this subject.

Thanks

Comments

  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,829 Forumite
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    mickym wrote: »

    Both my parents have made it clear that should anything happen to either of them that the estate should be split equally between their sons and daughters, and then for them to decide on how to distribute their share (i.e to grandchildren). We as a family all get on well, with no disputes, so having this in writing for their will should keep things reasonably straight forward.

    Where do you anticipate the surviving spouse will live and what will pay for their day to day expenses if the first spouse makes a will like this?

    How do they currently own their house?

    Is there an IHT consideration, rough value of the estate?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • mickym
    mickym Posts: 456 Forumite
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    Sorry I should of made clearer.

    Should either of my mother or father pass away, then the other would receive their estate.

    Its only upon the death of both parents would their estate be equally distributed between their children.
  • mickym
    mickym Posts: 456 Forumite
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    With regards IHT. House is worth probably £180,000 , they may have some savings but not a lot.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,829 Forumite
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    edited 25 February 2016 at 4:30PM
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    mickym wrote: »
    Sorry I should of made clearer.

    Should either of my mother or father pass away, then the other would receive their estate.

    Its only upon the death of both parents would their estate be equally distributed between their children.


    Thanks.

    POA financial depends on how they manage their finances. If the house is a joint tenancy then after the first death the other spouse is the sole tenant.

    If they hold their other assets as joint accounts which either can sign for (not both) then there will probably not be any issues. However if mum is the second card holder on accounts in dad's name, there may be problems.

    Has dad checked whether mum gets a pension? Is he going to be entitled to any death in service benefit (some pay out early in the pension period) and does he have any life insurance?

    Really they both need to go and see a good solicitor because there are other issues that need to be discussed for which it may be better to speak to someone outside the family. Like what happens if mum re-marries and her new spouse then gets everything?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • mickym
    mickym Posts: 456 Forumite
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    Thank you.

    Pretty sure the house is in both their names.

    Good question about the pensions, I would need to ask them that question.

    My parents are in their late 70s.... and im pretty certain neither would remarry.

    They have receievd a will pack supported by a solicitor that is a perk from their bank.

    I know I need to check that there arent any clauses that state the solicitors are subject to a percentage of the estate as part of the deal.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,825 Forumite
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    edited 25 February 2016 at 3:07PM
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    If your father has assets in his own name his wife cannot manage those without a POA. If everything is held jointly she does not need one.

    Really they should both get POAs in place to cover sudden changes that might make either of them unable to manage their own affairs e.g. a stroke, because you can't set one up once you are unable to make those decisions. While you are at it get your own drawn up.

    I am currently an attorney for my elderly mother, and both my wife and myself have registered POAs in place although we are both in good health, because incapacity can hit anyone at any time and the consequences for those left struggling to cope afterwards without one can be very serious.
  • mickym
    mickym Posts: 456 Forumite
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    If your father has assets in his own name his wife cannot manage those without a POA. If everything is held jointly she does not need one.

    Really they should both get POAs in place to cover sudden changes that might make either of them unable to manage their own affairs e.g. a stroke, because you can't set one up once you are unable to make those decisions. While you are at it get your own drawn up.

    I am currently an attorney for my elderly mother, and both my wife and myself have registered POAs in place although we are both in good health, because incapacity can hit anyone at any time and the consequences for those left struggling to cope afterwards without one can be very serious.


    Did you get all yours done through a solicitor? If so may I ask how much you paid?

    Or did you do it all yourself using the government website?

    Thanks for your help
  • pattycake
    pattycake Posts: 1,578 Forumite
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    We just yesterday made mirror wills at a local solicitor. Simple and straightforward. Cost £195 plus VAT for both.

    We have had a quote for Power of Attorney at £400 plus VAT plus £110 registration. That would be x2 for us both. We are still thinking about whether to do these at this time.

    The solicitors emailed copies of the wills within a couple of hours of our leaving their offices. All fine and we are going back tomorrow to sign.
  • Keep_pedalling
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    mickym wrote: »
    Did you get all yours done through a solicitor? If so may I ask how much you paid?

    Or did you do it all yourself using the government website?

    Thanks for your help

    We DIYed my mum's and was planning to do ours the same way but ended up have ours sorted by our solicitor at the same time as our wills (mainly because my better half got fed up of reminding me to get it done) unfortunately that was some time ago and can't remember what we were charged.
  • DevilsAdvocate1
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    My dad has just sorted POA for himself and my mum with me and my husband as the people to make the decisions. He has mainly done this because we found out making health decisions could be difficult if they became incapacitated. My mum in particular is starting to get quite frail. My dad did it himself and not through a solicitor, so it can't be too difficult.

    A friend of mine was in the position where her dad was healthy but her mum had some issues and was getting quite frail. Her dad drew up POAs and it was just as well that he did. My friend's mum now has dementia and her dad suddenly died. As he'd drawn up the POA my friend has been able to make the decisions for her mum.
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