What to consider when planning a Funeral

What to consider when planning a Funeral

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Is there anyone that really wants to discuss planning their funeral…maybe a few but the majority of us avoid it like, well, the plague!

However, if we really think about it, there are probably a few things we would like and things we would definitely NOT want at our funeral but we won’t be there to help with the planning so it is important to get out wishes down whilst we can.

Putting a funeral plan in place allow you to not only get your funeral wishes document but also to pay for your funeral directors fees in advance removing that burden from your loved ones when the time comes.

After the death of a loved one the last thing our relatives need is the added stress, anxiety and arguments caused by deciding exactly what we would have wanted…a funeral plan can remove all of that. Unfortunately, arguments over what we may have wanted could cause divides within our family and this is something none of us want! 

So, a funeral is a funeral right? What is there to think about?

Below we have listed a few things that you may want to consider when putting your funeral wishes in place:

Cremation or Burial?

Cremation

Following the ceremony and cremation itself the remaining ashes can be given to a loved one to keep or scatter as they wish or as you direct in your funeral wishes.

Direct Cremation

If you opt for a Direct Cremation then your body is taken from the funeral director to the crematorium and the cremation takes place without a service, this means that there will be no friends or family in attendance. The ashes can still be collected by a loved one to keep or scatter as they wish or as you direct in your funeral wishes.

Traditional Burial

A traditional burial will mean that your body and coffin will be buried in a grave, usually at a cemetery or churchyard. If you would prefer to be buried, enquiries into a burial plot and reserving your plot may be required and this is something that is best to look into beforehand.

Natural or Woodland Burial

Having a burial at a Natural or Woodland burial grounds is becoming ever more popular. With a Natural or Woodland burial is allowed to decompose in an environmentally friendly manner and the coffins are biodegradable.

If I am cremated, what happens to the ashes?

Possible options for your ashes following a cremation include:

  • Scattering at a favourite or memorable place;
  • Scattering at a memorial garden
  • Scattering at sea
  • A loved one keeping them in an urn
  • Burying with passed loved ones
  • Having them made into a keepsake (jewellery, art etc.)

What about the type of Coffin?

The type of coffin may not be important to you but some may want to take a traditional approach or a much more environmentally friendly approach and so the choice of coffin may well be important. Some options include:

  • Wooden (traditional)
  • Cardboard (could be personalised with photographs)
  • Wicker
  • Wool (biodegradable)

Religious or Non-Religious Ceremony?

This will very much depend on you as an individual and your beliefs. This may also depend on whether you would like a loved one or friend to conduct the ceremony for you or whether you would like a Celebrant (Church Minister, Civil Celebrant or Humanist Officiant) to do this.

Religious Ceremony

If you are religious you may well choose a religious ceremony and can also include your favourite hymns, prayers or readings.

Humanist Ceremony

A humanist ceremony does not include any religious content and will be 

focused on celebrating your life and experiences. These ceremonies can 

include poems, music and readings and you can also choose to have loved one’s speak in addition to the Humanist Officiant.

Civil Service

A civil service is often seen as the compromise between a religious and 

humanist ceremony, offering a service that looks at the life of the individual and includes some religious content.

These ceremonies can include poems, music and readings as well as hymns and prayers.

How will you be transported to the crematorium or place of burial?

Some options, whether opting for something traditional or a little different, include:

  • Hearse (traditional)
  • Eco-Hearse (electric and so environmentally friendly)
  • Vintage Hearse
  • Motorcycle
  • Trike
  • Horse-Drawn Hearse

Flowers

It is completely up to you whether you would like flowers at your funeral, and if 

you do what flowers you would like.

If you would prefer that flowers were not used or instead donations were made to a preferred charity or cause then this could be included within your funeral plan and wishes.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but may give you a few things to think about if you are considering putting a funeral plan in place and removing all these decisions from your loved ones at what will already be a very difficult time for them.

If you would like more information or to discuss putting a funeral plan in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free, relaxed and considerate discussion on how we can help

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How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube: What’s the Link?

How to Solve the Rubik’s: What’s the Link?

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Rubik’s Cubes and Total Legacy Care…what is the link?

This is something that we are SO SO passionate about so, let us enlighten you!

As a legal firm, we protect our clients with Lasting Powers of Attorney but we wanted to do something to go the extra mile for our clients. That’s when we decided to help our clients to not only protect themselves if they were to lose capacity in the future, by putting Lasting Powers of Attorneys in place, but ensure they take measures to keep their minds active and have some fun in the process. Learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube has some amazing benefits…

The Rubik’s Cube is often referred to as the IMPOSSIBLE TOY but everyone recognises the iconic cube and it often brings back memories from childhood, whether that be elation at solving the cube or frustration at not being able to!

We are so passionate about the positive benefits that the Rubik’s Cube can have that we have committed to giving each of our clients a Rubik’s Cube when we have finished registering their Lasting Powers of Attorney BUT WHY?

The Rubik’s Cube is not only for the younger generations but for ALL of us! Some of the benefits that we have already seen from our voluntary projects include include; improved dexterity and coordination, memory improvement as well as a reduction in anxiety, getting social, engagement and socialising with others (and maybe even those that you wouldn’t usually!).

So, what exactly do TLC do?

Not only are we great believers in the positive benefits of the Rubik’s Cube at any age, we are always keen to HAVE FUN!

We give a Rubik’s Cube to each client upon registration of their Lasting Powers of Attorney and have just finished recording our videos that will teach YOU how to solve the Rubik’s Cube in just EIGHT steps! 

A Lasting Power of Attorney in relation to your Health and Welfare only comes into effect when you have lost capacity (either physically or mentally,  or both) and are unable to make decisions for yourself, whereas a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can come into effect immediately upon registration or upon losing capacity, depending on your decision. So, here at TLC we don’t just want to help you in the future…we want to help you now! Hence the Rubik’s Cube. We genuinely believe that the positive benefits of the Rubik’s Cube, learning to solve it and keeping your mind active each day will have lasting effects on your health and wellbeing going forward and so that is our gift to you.

We currently run projects throughout Care Homes and Day Centres to teach people, largely the older generation (we are talking 30plus, so definitely not old!), how to SOLVE THE RUBIK’S CUBE.

We have taken solving the Rubik’s cube and simplified it to open it up to all ages and abilities. Through trial and error, and with the help of a group of elderly participants, we have devised a course of eight sessions with simple videos to accompany them. The videos will be released on FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER and will be available on our website and on YouTube (so, keep your eyes peeled).

Our main aim is to HAVE FUN but solving the Rubik’s Cube keeps the mind active and has already demonstrated that is is key in helping the residents within a Care Home or Day Centre setting to learn (or re-learn) a skill – solving the Rubik’s cube, whilst having the benefits of improving their hand-eye coordination and giving them something a bit different from the norm.

We are keen to explore a link between solving the Rubik’s Cube and stimulating and improving short-term memory (similar to those studies with Sudoku, Crosswords and chess), a symptom of Dementia that is common across most types of the condition. Keeping the mind active has numerous benefits and can keep connections within the brain communicating to improve a person’s daily activities and communication skills.

At present we are often found in Care Homes and Day Centres teaching our lessons on how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, we are currently in talks with an Autism Charity to develop a scheme for them too as the benefits for those with Autism could be just as positive and rewarding!

This is a project we are super passionate about and are always happy to discuss.

If this is something that you would be interested in for yourself,or a group that you are involved in or just want to have a chat or find out more, please do GET IN TOUCH!

And, if Lasting Powers of Attorney is something that you have been thinking about, or putting off, now is a great time to get your plans in place!

Before we go…

We couldn’t write an article about this without mentioning our latest involvement with Rubik’s:

🏆GUINNESS WORLD RECORD🏆

We are so proud to be a part of the Guinness World Record for… 

The most contributions to a Rubik’s Mosaic. With 308 individuals contributing to the final mosaic, it was a brilliant achievement!

Thank you so much to Rubik’s Brand Limited and Torgeir Amundsen (Cube Arting) and CONGRATULATIONS!

 

We absolutely LOVE teaching all generations how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and it was our pleasure to help as many as we could to be involved in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD! 🧡

Solving the Rubik’s Cube has so many POSITIVE BENEFITS!

 

If you would like more information, to discuss a project with 

a group you are involved with, 

or are thinking about putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, 

call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

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Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict the future?

Wouldn't it be great if we could predict the future?

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We all have busy lives and so sometimes just predicting what today is going to ring is an achievement, let alone way into the future! It would be great though, wouldn’t it 😉

Unfortunately, none of us know what is just around the corner and so planning for it is key. That is where Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) come in! LPAs are relevant during your lifetime and ensure that someone that you trust and have appointed as your Attorney can act on your behalf when you are unable to. Check out our article, Why Do YOU need an LPA? 5 reasons YOU should put your LPA in place for more information on LPAs.

We all know that age is going to hit us hard at some point but that ‘point’ is way off in the future, right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case…

Just looking at a few celebrities, we can see that an LPA may be needed a lot sooner than we would have hoped!

Chris Tarrant was just 67 years of age when he suffered a stroke that led to an emergency operation and ongoing rehabilitation to help him to regain his speech and physical movement.

Michael Schumacher was only 44 years old when a skiing accident resulted in him being placed into a medically induced coma (for six months!) and suffering life-threatening head injuries. 

Micahel Schmacher is a father of two children, who were aged just 14 and 16 at the time of the accident.

Richard Hammond was involved in an awful car accident whilst filming for Top Gear at the age of just 37 causing major brain damage after being in a coma for two-weeks, this also led to significant memory loss and depression.

However, it is not just celebrities that this happens to and when we take a look at the facts, they are hard-hitting! Just a couple of statistics for you:

  • Every 90-SECONDS, someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury;
  • Every THREE-MINUTES, someone in the UK is diagnosed with Dementia (and this is not just a condition that affects those over 65!);
  • Every FIVE-MINUTES, someone in the UK suffers from a stroke;
  • One in Six people within the UK will have a stroke during their lifetime;

 

So, enough of the doom and gloom….

What can we do to ensure we are protected, plan for our future and our family’s future and give us some much needed peace of mind?

The answer is a simple one…. Get your Lasting Powers of Attorney in place whilst you still have capacity to do so!

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney; and
  • Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.

(to find out more about these check out our article Why do I need an LPA?)

An LPA allows you to appoint an Attorney, or Attorneys, to make decisions for you, and on your behalf when you are unable to. This could just be a temporary measure due to a temporary loss of capacity either physically or mentally or a more permanent arrangement.

You can give your Attorneys guidance and state your preferences, should you choose to do so, within your LPAs and set out the extent of the power that you want your Attorneys to have.

 

So, what if you don’t get around to getting these all important LPAs in place?

If you do not  register LPAs whilst you have the capacity to do so then you lose control to a certain extent as it is then for your loved ones, or a professional, to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order in order to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. 

This process is costly – a court fee of £385, not to mention legal fees if you seek legal advice and potentially a fee for a professional to verify your lack of capacity to support the application being made, and timely – the application can take around 4 months to be granted from the date of submission however, if there are objections made to the application then this process can take 9-12 months!

Once you have lost capacity you lose the ability to choose who you want to appoint to manage your affairs for you and ultimately the choice is left to the Court of Protection – this may not be who you would have chosen had you been able to make the choice yourself. 

You also lose the opportunity to give guidance to your appointed Attorneys and advise of your preferences.

In relation to your health and welfare, if you do not make an LPA to cover this whilst you have the capacity to the Court of Protection will be reluctant to appoint a Deputy in relation to your healthcare decisions unless the circumstances are extremely complex. Again, meaning you lose the control to appoint who you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

Getting an LPA in place doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or expensive and can ensure that you have peace of mind and take the burden away from those closest to you.

 

If you would like a free chat to see how we can help or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

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What to consider when Inheriting

What to consider when Inheriting

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Mandy Rodgers is a Wealth Manager with St. James’s Place Wealth Management and has kindly put together the following considerations that you should have a think about when receiving an inheritance…

Mandy Rodgers

Receiving an inheritance can generate mixed feelings – sadness that a loved one has passed away, possibly relief that maybe some debts can be paid off, or uncertainty over how best to make use of your inheritance in your lifetime whilst ensuring there’s something left to pass down to future generations.

Receiving an inheritance may be the first time you’ve had to worry about investment options and can be quite daunting if that’s not something you have experience of. There is no one right answer as everyone’s circumstances are different, but some things to consider are…

  • Paying off any expensive credit cards & store cards first
  • A lot of mainstream mortgages today are at very competitive interest rates, around the c. 2% mark, so it wouldn’t necessarily make sense to pay down a mortgage as your money could be put to better use depending on your attitude to investment risk & return. 

For some people, they just want to know the mortgage is gone and paid off. For others, if the mortgage payments are affordable and they’re happy the mortgage will be paid off before retirement they might prefer to invest their inheritance elsewhere to potentially  generate capital growth… or maybe a middle option would suit, where they could pay off a lump sum (to reduce the monthly mortgage payments or reduce the mortgage term) and invest the rest (take proper advice on your situation, and check with your lender first to see whether early repayment charges apply)

 

  • One thing’s for sure, with cash savings interest rates at a fraction of 1% and inflation at c. 2%, money held in cash will go backwards in real terms, so that’s probably not the answer
  • Many people have in the past opted for ‘bricks & mortar’, and have bought Buy to Let properties. Whilst property has been a good performing asset class the tax rules around second properties have become particularly punitive and so on its own, residential property is becoming less attractive. Coupled with the fact that it brings with it the hands on hassle of dealing with tenants, and managing repairs & maintenance (which are often underestimated), it’s not always the ‘passive’ investment it’s thought to be

 

I work with clients to provide professionally managed and well diversified investment options that suit their personal circumstances and objectives. These are tailored to their attitude to risk and regularly reviewed and managed by me to form part of their overall financial life plan. Using the most appropriate investment tax wrappers is also important, to ensure everything is as tax efficient and admin easy as possible during your lifetime, and will pass down to the next generation as tax efficiently as possible too. If you’ve had to pay Inheritance Tax on your inheritance, you’ll understand the importance of timely tax planning!

The key point is to get some proper financial advice and look at options that work for you and your situation. Unless you’re familiar with the financial industry there’s every chance you 

‘don’t know what you don’t know’

and a professional can inform you and guide you through the options to make the best decision for you and your family.

If you would like to discuss your financial situation / inheritance, contact…

Mandy Rodgers 

07824 408990 


mandy.rodgers@sjpp.co.uk

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.  An investment in equities does not provide the security of capital associated with a deposit account with a bank or building society.

The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances. 

The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.

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TLC talks to…A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISER & DECLUTTERER

TLC talks to...A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISER & DECLUTTERER

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Last week we were joined LIVE on our Facebook Page by the amazing, and very knowledgeable, Tracy Ross of Blissfully Organised.

Tracy is a Professional Organiser and a member of The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO). ⠀

Tracy started her company – Blissfully Organised in 2011, following an 18 year Marketing career working for brands such as ESPN and ITV. 

We had a great chat with Tracy and wanted to have a look at the different people she works with and also the different aspects that she can work on and then answered lots of questions that were posted by those watching live.

Below we set out some of the questions and responses, but if you want to catch up with the video CLICK HERE!

Tracy’s contact details are below should you have any other questions, please do get in touch with her, she is very helpful and knowledgeable.

So for the questions and the all important answers (I have paraphrased some of this ;))…

A lot of the comments that we have received so far refer to Marie Kondo and her series on Netflix. Specifically about the way she folds clothes. Is this part of what you do? 

If you could also give us a little brief outline of who she is and what she does.

Marie Kondo is a Professional Organiser and she has her own technique of organising with client and has a specific way of working through a space and this never changes per client. The thing that she is most well known for is her way of folding, clothes, towels and that is her big thing. Marie doesn’t work for everyone although most houses I go to, have her book but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can organise independently. Marie Kondo is FABULOUS for our industry, although she is not right for everybody as sometimes you need to be more adaptable for some clients.

The FOLDING is amazing and I do show some of my clients how to do this, if they think they can maintain it.

LIVE COMMENT: I loved reading her books but then couldn’t put them into practice until I met you!

Often, the thing I find is that some clients just need some time booked in with someone else to feel motivated and I can guide them through the session. If you are working on your own it is a different strategy and make sure you don’t get overwhelmed, especially when the space can look a lot worse than when you started.

Is it usual for people to feel ashamed or embarrassed about inviting someone into their home when they are in a position where they really need support organising and decluttering?

I completely understand that and in the telephone consultation, I will talk about that and understand that they have taken a big step. When I arrive, I know exactly how they’re feeling and have dealt with this for nine years so I know what to expect and know how they will be feeling about it.

Some people won’t sleep the night before I arrive because they are anxious or nervous but the relationship is all about building trust and eventually their guard will go down and they will let me in further into their space and how they are feeling.

I am completely confidential, I don’t arrive in a branded van. I am as good a listener as I can be and am not bossy at all. It has to be a completely personal service and trust is built very quickly. I get to understand all the things that the person is feeling, as they may not have invited anyone into that space for years.

It is not just getting rid of things and organising, it is also talking about feelings rather than just just packing things up and moving them into another room.

What do you find clients are looking for (other than the obvious) what are some of the other common benefits that you find come out of what you do?

People call me for a whole variety of reasons, sometimes I just go for one or two sessions because people are moving or downsizing whereas some clients I have worked with on and off for the whole nine years. Some people will just take longer because we go at their pace and work through the space. 

The number one thing that I think people want from is being patient, a good listener – we chat about all sorts of things whilst I am with them for 4-5 hours. The client will feel relaxed, knowing that we will get there and that I believe in them and add that sense of belief in the person.

LIVE COMMENT: Decluttering my home with Tracy has changed the way I run my home, my buying habits, how I view the ‘stuff’ in my home and how much more relaxed I feel when it’s organised.

There are various things that I do, firstly, I will declutter and decide what stays and what goes, then we will organise so that things can be maintained and stop the clutter building up again. One of the biggest things that I do is speaking about purchasing behaviours so that the client is aware of what they are buying and bringing into the home because if that doesn’t change then there will also be stuff coming into the home and cluttering the home.

I have tips that I can give to the client and one of those is going through the wardrobe and making the client aware of what they have. I use the hanger technique where you hang everything in your wardrobe the wrong way and once it is worn you put it back into the wardrobe the right way and then you can quickly see, over a three-month period, which items you are wearing and which ones you never choose. You can then look at why you are not wearing them, maybe wear them for a day and decide whether to keep it or not.

What stage do people get to before coming to you and asking for help. 

Is it always the individual that comes to you or is it sometimes the children that come to you about their elderly parents?

When I am dealing with those with Dementia, especially in the early stages, it is often their partner or  their adult children that contact me because things have got a little bit out of control and their focuses have changed but they would like some support in helping their parent or partner live independently for longer. I will then go and meet with the person living with dementia and their partner or adult children and discuss with them what can be done.

In most circumstances though, it is the person that wants the help that will contact me. The person needs to be ready, it is a very personal service and so they need to be ready to buy into it. Usually, it is a very positive experience for my clients and they will see the value of what we do once it has been started.

If I go into a home and there are several people living there, I will only work on those things that belong to the person that has contacted me. Anything else is left to be dealt with by the person that it belongs to.

Do you have a typical client, that takes a specific length of time?

I can tell people, when I start, how long it will take to work through a space but what I cannot tell is how long that person will need to let go of things and work through things. It will depend on the pace of the person and how long it takes them to go through the process and understand the reasons why they may be feeling guilty or anxious about letting things go.

Often cleaning and decluttering causes tension and arguments, do you find this when you are working with individuals or families?

I can often come in as a mediator and take the friction away.

Although it is often the case that each person thinks that their possessions are necessary but their partner’s may not be as much. Sometime, I will begin working with one client and have been engaged without them discussing this with their partner and their partner will begin to see the changes and may even get on board and I will start working with both of them.

LIVE COMMENT: What are your favourite types of clients?

I just love working with the variety, every client I see is different and every house is different.

I love seeing when clients ‘just get it’. It can vary in time but sometimes I will go back to houses and there is new furniture, it has been redecorated and I know how it was before and how it has transformed and feel that I have really helped and seen the change that has been made.

It is the feeling that I get from helping and learning from each client rather than a specific type of client because each of them are so different.

Some of the times and milestones that people will decide to get you involved must be common and one of those that was common question was preparing for a baby and having all those new and very necessary things coming into the home. Are you able to help and give guidance on this?

Yes, I work with a variety of people at this stage, sometimes this can be a couple expecting their first baby because even just bringing in the core essentials can be overwhelming and so look at their routine and where things can be kept that is most useful.

I have also supported people at the other end, where they are having their third or fourth child, that are overwhelmed with the amount of things already in the home to adding even more things for babies. We know that little babies come with an awful lot of stuff!

This is similar to preparing for a family that may be having an elderly family member come to stay with them and having a whole new amount of possessions coming into the home and organising this in to the most useful space.

Another aspect that we wanted to take a look at is working from home…it can be difficult to have that separation between a work space and your home space, and finding that balance.

This can be a real challenge. I have a few clients that have young families and have the flexibility to work from home but with that comes with different challenges and when they are working and are looking around and appear to be surrounded by chaos and so find it difficult to work.

I help a lot of these clients with time management and space management. Perhaps creating a space that is screened off from home life or having systems in place to help stop the distractions. 

I would also say that most of these clients need help with paperwork management. This could be going through historic paperwork and getting back to point zero or just getting systems in place to deal with ongoing paperwork and setting up a filing system and having daily habits in place to stop it getting out of control. 

We are often involved where there is a death of an individual, or where an individual moves into a Care Home, there is a whole family home full of possessions but they are either no longer around or no longer have the physical or mental capacity to deal with everything. This can therefore bring grief as well as all the other challenges that this type of work can bring. How can you deal with this?

This is quite a challenging situation and one thing that I work with is talking openly and speaking with people before this becomes and issue and downsizing as well as talking about the legacy that they are leaving to their children.

Where this is not possible then I usually work with the adult children and I will do a lot of the sorting work and sort things that I think are valuable and this can take a lot of time as I cannot possibly know what is important but I can try my very best to pick out those things that I feel will have sentimental value to the client. A lot of this work is to do with assumptions but I do work closely with the family and can send photos through and work through everything.

What do you feel is the most rewarding part of your job?

The support, physically, but often the informal counselling that my clients really value as I am not judgemental and genuinely care. I really like that my clients are able to share so much with me.

LIVE COMMENT: In your great article you wrote for us, you touch on increased anxiety and well being. How do your clients feel after you start them on the process? We can see Eileen raves about you and feels great about using your techniques you’ve given her

I see the clients often start by feeling quite scattered, anxious and overwhelmed but as we start to work together and clear the spaces, their decision making improves, their desire to be more sociable improves and they will often invite someone round for coffee when perhaps they haven’t done this for many years.

I can come in and work with them and get a lot off of their to-do list and clear a space and often there is a great sense of relief. Most people are really happy to maintain but just need some coaching with how to organise and get things in order and systems in place. It is lovely when you go back and see the systems that you have suggested, really work.

I like to speak to people about what their pressure points are and what is causing them stress during their day and then work through that. I look at how they move around their space and what they use so that things can be in correct places. This can then enable other people in the home know where everything is and where things are kept, to help the household as a whole have things organised in a logical manner.

Thank you so much Tracy!

Tracy also prepared a great article for us on:

Decluttering to Create an Organised Home for Independent Living

Tracy Ross

Professional Organiser

Blissfully Organised

tracy@blissfullyorganised.co.uk

Tel: 07818 423 376

www.blissfullyorganised.co.uk

If there are any other topics that you would like to hear about or to ask an expert on, please do get in touch!


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Will my Will be disputed?

Will my Will be disputed?

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A recent survey by Direct Line Life Insurance found that almost a quarter (24%) of people are prepared to fight for their inheritance in relation to a loved one’s Estate.

We tell you quite a lot about how important it is to have a Will in place, but even with the best will in the world and with a Will drafted by professionals (rather than a DIY Will) could arguments still be raised?

Unfortunately, as we all know (and probably have experience of!) where there is money involved, arguments are not far behind! In 2018, the HM Courts and Tribunals Service evidence a 6% increase to the number of claims in relation to probate disputes.

So, although there are steps we can take (and we will have a look at those!) to ensure your Will is as water-tight as can be, here are a few of the common reasons that a Will is disputed:

 

Lack of mental capacity

In order to make a valid Will, the Testator (the person making the Will) must understand what they are doing, the effect that the Will has and the consequences. The Testator must be of sound mind and free from any disorder of the mind that may prevent the exercise of natural mental faculties.

A person may dispute a Will where they believe that the Testator did not have the mental capacity and ability to do so at the time that the Will was made.

 

Legal Requirements

There are certain requirements that must be met in order for a Will to be valid and if these are not met then the Will could be disputed.

Undue Influence

Undue Influence would occur where someone is forced to sign a Will, or has unreasonable pressure placed upon them to sign a Will, that they do not agree with or would not have made had they had control of the decision.

Although this is the most common dispute when loved ones want to contest a Will, this is the least successful claim as the burden of proof is extremely high and requires the person making the claim to prove that  undue influence was present.

 

Rectification and Construction

This claim may exist where there is an error made in the drafting of the Will or the actual intentions of the Testator were not reflected by the person drafting the Will.

Failure to Provide

You can bring a claim against an Estate if you believe that the deceased should have provided for you within their Will and they have not done so. This would be a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and in order to claim you would need to be:

    • a child of the deceased;
    • any person who was not a child of the deceased, but was treated as a child of the family by the deceased, within a marriage or civil partnership;
    • the spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
    • a former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased, that has not subsequently married or formed a new civil partnership;
    • a person who had, during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the deceased’s death, lived in the same household as if he or she were the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased; or
    • any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased.

Having a Will prepared by a professional cannot eliminate the risk of claims being brought in the future but this does increase your protection and a professionally prepared Will means that it has been prepared by someone outside of the family that has taken the necessary steps to eliminate as many risks as possible and to satisfy themselves that the legal requirements are complied with, that the Testator had capacity and was free from undue influence.

 

If you would like a FREE chat to discuss putting your Will in place, get in touch on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

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What happens without a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Court of Protection:
What happens without a Lasting Power of Attorney?

So, we tell you all the time how important WE think it is to have an LPA in place and it is never too early (once you’ve hit 18 of course!) to get one in place, BUT WHY?

Well, put simply if you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and you lose capacity or are unable to make decisions for yourself (whether temporarily or on a more permanent basis) then you will need to have a Deputy appointed by the Court…as you can imagine, this is not a quick process nor is it cheap!

So, let’s take a look at exactly what is involved in obtaining a Deputyship Order, what it means and how you can ensure you are covered.

Just in case you have missed our other articles on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs); there are two types of LPA, one to cover your property and financial affairs and another that will cover your health and welfare decisions. An LPA can only be put in place by you when you have capacity to do so to allow someone to act for you, step into your shoes if you like, when you are unable to do so. The property and financial LPA can be used by your Attorney (if you want them to) at any time after it has been registered, not just when you lose capacity!

However, what happens when you haven’t yet got around to putting an LPA in place and you lose capacity? 

Well let’s take a look at what happens to your property and financial affairs first…

An application will need to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to look after and manage your finances and property, once you have lost capacity and are unable to do so, BUT…

Once you have lost capacity, you also lose the THE CHOICE of who you want to handle your property and financial affairs.

Once you have lost capacity, it is for the Court of Protection to decide who is best to handle your affairs for you…this may not be the person that you would have appointed.

The Court of Protection will choose a Deputy that they think is suitable to manage your affairs and although your past and present feelings may be taken into consideration this is difficult once capacity is lost.

It will be down to your loved one’s to apply to the Court of Protection for the Deputyship Order and this can be a huge burden that you wouldn’t want anyone to endure, let alone those closest to you.

The list of those eligible to apply for a Deputyship Order is quite extensive and includes one of your relatives, a close friend, a professional or anyone that has an interest in you and your affairs. However…this doesn’t change the fact that you have no control over this and that you are leaving it up to one of your loved one’s to make the application and for the Court to decide whether they are deemed suitable to act as your Deputy.

The power that the Court appointed Deputy has will be limited to what is stated within the Deputyship Order. This may not be as far reaching as an LPA would allow and so it may well be necessary to return to Court to have this extended.

An LPA allows you to set out any restrictions, preferences and guidance that you want to leave for your appointed Attorneys, you will be unable to do so in a Deputyship Order.

To make the application to the Court of Protection, a fee of £385 (current rate in 2019) is also payable to the Court. 

This does not include any legal fees and so if you seek legal advice or assistance in completing and submitting application, this will be an additional cost.

There may also be fees that are payable to the professional that has to verify that you no longer have capacity and thus require a Deputy to be appointed.

In addition to this, there are annual fees payable to the Court of Protection for Deputyship Orders.

As you can imagine, some of the decisions in relation to your financial affairs are pretty time sensitive. However, an application for a Deputyship Order usually takes 3-4 months to be made, from the date that the application is submitted. This is where there are no objections to the application, this can be much longer, and very different, if any objections are raised.

Where objections are raised and the matter has to be heard before a Judge, the process can take nine months or longer to conclude

For Health and Welfare matters, things are a bit more complex.

If you have not made an LPA in relation to your Health and Welfare prior to losing capacity then it is quite rare for the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy for you in relation to these matters.

An application can be made, again to the Court of Protection, in much the same way as it is made for a Deputyship Order in relation to your property and financial affairs but are usually only appointed in complex circumstances.

Again, meaning that you lose the control and choice to appoint who you want to be able to make those decisions on your behalf and also lose the ability to put preferences and guidance in place for your Attorneys to take the decisions that you would have made had you been able, and had the capacity, to do so.

THE PROCESS…

Let’s take a brief look at the process for applying for a Deputyship Order for those situations where an LPA hasn’t been registered prior to losing capacity.

We briefly mentioned (above) that the list of those that are eligible to make the application for a Deputyship Order is quite extensive, but in order to be successful, the applicant will need to show that they have a good knowledge of your finances and property affairs and will also have to demonstrate, with verification from a professional, that you no longer have capacity to make decisions in relation to your own financial and property matters.

Upon making the application to the Court of Protection a Court Fee of £385 Present 2019 rate) is also payable, whether successful or not. An additional fee may be charged by the professional that verifies your capacity. If the applicant seeks legal advice and assistance in completing and submitting the application to the Court of Protection, this will incur additional fees. 

There are also ongoing fees, paid annually, to the Court of Protection in relation to Deputyship Orders that are made.

The application will then be accepted and issued by the Court of Protection and the applicant will need to serve a copy of the application on all those that they believe have an interest in the application being made and those directed by the Court and within the Court Guidance (known as the Respondents).

The Respondents are then given an opportunity to respond to the application.

If no objections are received to the application from any of the Respondents then the Court of Protection will make a Deputyship Order and this is usually done within four months of the application being submitted.

However, if any objections are received then a Hearing will be listed in front of a Judge to consider the matter and the objections. This will not only delay the Deputyship Order being made but will also increase costs as it is likely that legal representation and advice will be required. The time and expense will differ depending on the number of parties involved and the number, nature and complexity of the objections.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation.

If you would like a FREE chat to discuss your options, get in touch on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

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want to book a 

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Benefits of having a Bucket List…

Benefits of having a
Bucket List…

So, you may have seen our social media posts each weekend looking at a Bucket List destination or experience (and if you haven’t where have you been?)

We all know that life can be short…Tomorrow is promised to no-one and so it is important to have a Bucket List.

We take a look at some of the benefits of having a Bucket List AND…

If you want to feature on our Bucket List posts GET IN TOUCH, we would LOVE to hear from you!

Makes you think about what you would LOVE to do

Putting your Bucket List down in writing can really make you think about your goals and what you really enjoy doing. Perhaps, something that you used to enjoy or something you have never experienced before!

We can all get caught up with life sometimes and forget what we would LOVE to do, having a Bucket List can give us that little reminder.

Gives you something to look forward to

Once you have your Bucket List in place (and let’s face it, it’s going to constantly change, develop and be added to!) you can work towards booking those trips or experiences and have something to look forward to.

Motivates you and gives you something to focus on

Your Bucket List should help you to focus your mind on what is important to you and give you a little motivation to push through and work towards getting some of those things on your Bucket List ticked off!

Can create goals to push your boundaries

Your Bucket List may be goals that you aspire to achieve or promises to yourself that you will reward yourself with after completing something.

Your Bucket List may include some things that push you out of your comfort zone, whether that be a destination you have always dreamed of visiting but is beyond your comfort zone or an experience that really pushes you.

Sense of achievement

Achieving something from your Bucket List and getting it ticket off can provide an immense sense of satisfaction and achievement…and who doesn’t like to feel proud of themselves and like they have achieved something, right?

Keeps you active

You may want to use your Bucket List to ensure you are keeping active or partaking in an activity that you have always loved , or always wanted to try!

I’m thinking skydives, parachute jumps, trekking and all those experiences in between!

We are all different and so all our Bucket Lists will be different and that’s what makes them so exciting!

So, what are you waiting for?

GET YOUR BUCKET LIST STARTED!

 

If you would like to feature or share something that you have completed from your BUCKET LIST, then get in touch on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

 

Do check out our Instagram posts to see some of the amazing places our clients, our friends, our family and even ourselves have been to!! Search #BucketList for inspiration

Leah Waller

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want to book a 

FREE Consultation?
 

LPA Certificate Provider

LPAs: Who can be my Certificate Provider and what is their role?

Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place for your Health & Welfare and your Property & Financial affairs is SO important and can be a relatively stress-free and quick process but you will need a Certificate Provider…

So, what is a Certificate Provider, what do they do and why are they needed?

Well, in order to register your LPA you will need a Certificate Provider to sign the LPA application to certify that you have the capacity to make the application and that you understand the extent of the power that you are giving to your appointed Attorney, or Attorneys.

In order to do this, the Certificate must have knowledge of the TWO-STAGE TEST FOR MENTAL CAPACITY and make a judgement as to whether you (the person applying for the LPA) can understand the information that is relevant to making the decisions within the LPA, whether they are able to retain that information and weigh up the information in order to make a decision and communicate that decision.The Certificate Provider must also be aware of the FIVE PRINCIPLES OF CAPACITY:

You are assumed to have capacity UNLESS it can be established that you do not.

You are to be treated as though you can make decisions UNLESS all practicable steps have been taken to help you make a decision and all have been unsuccessful.

Just because you make an unwise decision it does NOT mean that you lack capacity.

Any decision taken MUST be done or made in your BEST INTERESTS.

PRIOR TO ANY DECISION, consideration must be given to whether it is effectively achieves the purpose in the least restrictive way to your rights and freedoms.

So, who can be a Certificate Provider?

A Certificate Provider must be either:

A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE PROVIDER can be someone over the age of 18 that has the necessary knowledge and experience, because of the skill and profession, to make a judgment as to your capacity.

Frequently used Professional Certificate Providers include, US here at TLC, Solicitors, Estate Planners, Legal Professionals, GPs, Medical Professionals and Social Workers.

A PERSONAL CERTIFICATE PROVIDER can be someone that is over the age of 18 and has known you for at least two years prior to the date on which you apply to register your LPA.

This person will need to be someone that can have a full and frank discussion with you about your capacity and your understanding of the LPA and the consequences of registering such a document.

Who CANNOT be your Certificate Provider?

Your Certificate Provider cannot be under the age of 18.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be one of the people that you have appointed as your Attorney in the LPA you are applying for.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be one of the people that you have appointed as a replacement Attorney in the LPA you are applying for.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be one of your family members (this includes your boyfriend/girlfriend, partner,  in-laws and step-relatives).

Your Certificate Provider cannot be a family member of the appointed Attorneys (this includes their boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, in-laws and step-relatives).

Your Certificate Provider cannot be your Business Partner.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be your appointed Attorneys’ Business Partner.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be your employee.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be an employee of your appointed Attorneys.

Your Certificate Provider cannot be someone that works for a Trust Corporation that is appointed as your Attorney.

Your Certificate Provider cannot work for the Care Home where you live (if you reside in a Care Home), or a family member of someone working for the Care Home. This includes the owner, manager, directors, staff and employees.

What next?

Once the above has been satisfied, the Certificate provider will sign and date the LPA application and confirm that you understand the LPA, its purpose and consequences, that you are under no undue pressure or influence to sign the LPA, that no act of fraud is being committed and that there is nothing that would prevent that LPA from being registered by the Office of the Public Guardian.

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation.

If you would like a FREE chat to discuss your options, get in touch on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?
 

Polygamous Marriages

What is the effect of a Polygamous Marriage on Inheritance?

We know that matters are more complicated when you die without leaving a Will, and everything that you have worked hard for may not end up with those that you want it to BUT what happens where a person dies leaving more than one spouse?

One question that often comes up is:

When someone dies without a Will their Estate (all of their assets, property and possessions) are distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy (you can check out our simple flowchart here). 

In simple terms, where you die without a Will but leaving a spouse and no children, your surviving spouse will receive everything. Where you leave a spouse and children, your surviving spouse will receive the first £250,000 of your Estate and all of your personal possession, plus half of everything above the first £250,000 with the other half being split between any children.

Although you may be happy with your Estate to pass in this way, a lengthy and costly process may follow through the courts for your money to go to your loved ones and this could be avoided by having a Will in place. 

So what happens where there is more than one spouse?

This may occur where the deceased is domiciled in a country where polygamous marriages are recognised and legal but owns property in England & Wales leaving it to be determined by the laws of England & Wales to determine what happens to such inheritance.

Current case law, in England & Wales, recognises ALL spouses within a valid polygamous marriage as a ‘surviving spouse’ for the purpose of the Rules of Intestacy. This means that where the deceased leaves more than one spouse but no children, all surviving spouses would each receive an equal share of the deceased Estate. Where deceased leaves more than one spouse and children, the surviving spouses will each receive an equal share the first £250,000 of the Estate, plus an equal share each in half of everything above the first £250,000 with the other half being split equally between any children.

Anything that passes to a spouse upon death, passes free from Inheritance Tax and so where there is a polygamous marriage this is also the case and so all gifts made to a spouse in a valid polygamous marriage will be exempt from Inheritance Tax.

However, where the deceased is domiciled outside of England & Wales then the amount passed to a spouse will only be free from Inheritance Tax until the Nil Rate Band threshold is reached (currently £325,000) regardless of whether it is passing to a spouse or not.

In order for a polygamous marriage to be recognised and valid in England & Wales it must have taken place outside of England & Wales and adhere to that country’s legal requirements in relation to marriage.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?