What can we learn from these celebrities’ deaths?​

What can we learn from these celebrities' deaths?

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We are always saying how important it is to have a Will (well, we would, wouldn’t we!).

However, celebrity deaths often highlight the importance of having a Will through the complications, legal battles and high-profile disputes that occur following their death.

So, what can we learn from them?

Keep Control of WHO you want to benefit from everything you have worked hard for

When Prince died in April 2016, he left behind an Estate that was worth an estimated £230million.

With no Will in place it was decided by a Probate Judge that his Estate would be divided between his sister and five half-siblings (despite numerous claims from alleged ex-wives, children, siblings and other relatives).

During his lifetime, Prince had many legal disputes with his half-siblings and thus it is unlikely he would have wanted them to benefit from his Estate, although we will never know.

Leaving a Will, ensures that you can leave what you want to WHO you want to benefit!

Be clear and specific

Although Audrey Hepburn died in 1993, due to her wishes being unclear, the legal battle in relation to her Estate was not resolved until 2015, some 22 years later!

Audrey Hepburn had left a Will but had stated that her ‘memorabilia’ would be split between her two sons although no instructions were given as to which items were to go to which son. The sons could not agree on the division of the memorabilia and thus a long and expensive legal battle ensued.  

Giving detailed instructions within your Will (or even an attached Expression of Wishes) can save time, money and family feuds when you are no longer around.

It is never too early to put your Will in place (especially when you have children!)

Paul Walker died at just age 40 BUT he did leave a Will that he had made three years after the birth of his daughter, when he was just 28 (many of you may think this is young to make a Will!).

Paul Walker had left a brief Will but it was very clear that his Estate should pass to his daughter, in trust.

Paul Walker had also appointed his mother as legal Guardian of his daughter.

Putting Guardians in place is so important to ensure your children are brought up by the people YOU trust, should anything happen to you.

You can plan for more than just your finances, property and personal possessions

Muhammed Ali left behind an Estate worth approximately £61million and not only did he have the forethought to make a Will stating his wishes and who he wanted to benefit from his Estate but also how he wanted his funeral events and public memorial to be.

The extravagant events were carried out in accordance with his wishes, including a memorial service over several days, a festival and public memorial with over 15,000 of his fans.

Leaving your wishes regarding your funeral in your Will can ensure that there are no questions or disputes between loved ones as to what you want and relieves some of the emotional burden that could otherwise be felt.

If you have any questions or would like to consider planning for your future, by putting a Will in place, please call us on 01727 865121 or drop us an email Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

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Leah Waller

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What happens if I die in the UK but want my body to return to my home country?

What happens if I die in the UK but want my body to return to my home country?

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Last time we had a look at what happens if you die abroad and want your body to be returned to the UK

Today, we take a brief look at what happens to those individuals that die in the UK but want to be repatriated to their home country.

Where a death occurs in the UK, registration of that death must take place within the UK (as registration of a death in the UK is compulsory where the death occurred in the UK). 

For foreign residents in the UK, permission must be sought from the Coroner for repatriation to take place. Your family (or the person dealing with your death) may also need to register the death with the Consulate abroad too, especially where you are wanting your body to be returned to that country.

In order to be returned to your home country, following death, the body must be embalmed and laid to rest in a special coffin. It will also be necessary for the Embalmer, the Coroner, Medical Staff and Environmental Health to complete all of the necessary paperwork before repatriation can take place.

If you have any questions or would like to consider planning for your future, by putting a Will, Lasting Power of Attorney or a Funeral Plan in place, please call us on 01727 865121 or drop us an email Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk 

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What happens if I die abroad but want my body returned to the UK?

What happens if I die abroad but want my body returned to the UK?

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Predicting the place, date and time of our death is near on impossible and so it is not unusual for a death to take place outside of the UK and needing the body to be returned for the Funeral and Burial or Cremation.

COSTS are a top concern when trying to get a body returned to the UK, following a death, and in some circumstances this may be covered by travel insurance but in other cases you may well be responsible for paying this. These costs can be extremely expensive and so when using a repatriation service it is very important to have an itemised quotation of exactly what services are included for what you are paying.

Practically though, what steps do you need to take?

You will need to obtain a Death Certificate for the individual from the country in which the death occurred and this will also need to be accompanied by a certified English translation (the British Consulate can assist with this). You will also require a certificate of embalming and permission to remove the deceased’s body from the country of death, again, the British Consulate will be able to assist with this.

The embalming certificate will need to confirm that the correct process has taken place and that the body has been embalmed and placed in a zinc-lined coffin ready for transportation back to the UK.

You may also find it useful to register the death with the British Consulate in the country where the death occurred and a UK Death Certificate may be obtained however, there may be an additional charge for this and this is not compulsory where you can obtain a certified English translation of the original Death Certificate.

Once you have all of the necessary paperwork and documentation you can then make arrangements for the body to be returned to the UK and again, the British consulate can advise as to Funeral Directors that can assist with this.

You will still need to contract the Register Office in the area that the funeral is taking place and confirm that the death has been registered abroad. You will then obtain a Certificate of no liability to register allowing the Funeral to proceed.

Alternatively, you may wish for a cremation to take place in the country that the death occurred in and for your ashes to be returned to the UK. This is possible, however, each country has their own rules in relation to transporting human ashes out of their country and so it is important to obtain advice from the British Consulate for that country in order that you can adhere to these.

If the cause of death was unknown then the Coroner may be involved and will hold an Inquest in the UK. However, it will not be possible to have the body cremated abroad where the cause of death is unknown and where an inquest is required upon return to the UK.

If you have any questions or would like to consider planning for your future, by putting a Will, Lasting Power of Attorney or a Funeral Plan in place, please call us on 01727 865121 or drop us an email Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

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When should I get a Will?

When should I get a Will?

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We often get asked…

“Do I really need a Will, won’t everything just go to my children/husband/wife?”

Well, sadly it isn’t as simple as that (not many things are!).

You may have seen our flowchart of what happens if you die without a Will (also known as intestate) but here it is again:

So, as you can see, it is not as straightforward as you may have hoped.

It is not something we can predict (that is, when our time is up) however, it is something that we can plan for!

So, some of the stages in your life that you may want to consider putting a Will in place (if you haven’t already!) or reviewing your Will are:

 

Buying a Property

Whether you are buying a property to live in yourself, with someone else, or to rent out and use as an income, it is important to consider how that house is owned (solely, as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common) as this will have a bearing on what happens to the property upon your death. 

If you are able to gift the property on your death (or part of the property) then your Will will determine exactly what happens to that property and who inherits.

If you are in doubt about how a current property of yours is held, or what consequences that has, please do get in touch and we can help.

 

Getting Married

When you get married, if you have no children and no Will in place, then everything will pass to your spouse upon your death.

However, when you have children, the first £250,000 (including the value of any property owned solely by you or as a Tenant in Common) will pass to your spouse along with all your possessions and the remainder will be split with your spouse receiving an interest in half and the remaining half being split equally between your children.

This may not be what you would want to happen and so making a Will is important.

Equally, where you marry for a second (or subsequent) time, you may want to protect some of you previous earnings and assets for children from a previous marriage or to dispose of in another way, rather than it all passing to your new spouse and so this is where a Will is extremely important. 

A Will also becomes void on marriage (unless the Will states the intended marriage), this is something you need to consider and something that is not commonly known. 

 

Becoming a Parent

We have discussed above how your assets are divided if you are married, have children but do not have a Will.

If you have children and are not married, then your assets are split equally between your children in the first instance. 

There is no such thing as a ‘common-law husband or wife’ in relation to inheritance and so even if you have been ‘living as married’ your partner will not be entitled to any inheritance (unless they proceed with a lengthy legal claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975).

A Will allows you to put Trusts in place for your children so that you can set the age at which they inherit (rather than them inheriting at 18) and also allows you to provide for any vulnerable children that you may have, such as those with disabilities to ensure that their money is looked after and also doesn’t have any impact on their benefits in the future.

Another important aspect of a Will when you are a parent, is appointing Guardians!

Appointing Guardians in your Will gives you the opportunity to appoint the people that you trust to look after your children, and bring them up, should you no longer be around to do so. This saves any lengthy court cases and prevents the children from having to go into care or into the control of the Local Authorities whilst Legal Guardians are found for them.

These are just a few milestones that may trigger the need for a Will, we would encourage everyone over the age of 18 to get a Will (of course we would!) but apart from anything else it just means that you have peace of mind knowing that everything will be as YOU want it, and it removes that burden from your loved ones at what will already be a terribly difficult time for them.

 

How difficult is it to make a Will?

The process is quite simple, an initial meeting where we discuss your needs and take instructions should take no longer than an hour. Your Will writer can then draft the documents and arrange another meeting to sign everything off and make it legally valid. The process can be completed in just a few days depending on how complex your Will may be. 

 

If you have any questions, would like to consider putting a Will in place or a FREE review of your existing Will, please call us on 01727 865121 or drop us an email Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk 

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There are two certainties in life…

There are two certainties in life…

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Benjamin Franklin is famous for stating:

...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin

Now, we are only too aware that many people don’t want to talk about death, let alone their own or that of a loved one BUT this leaves a heavy burden on your surviving loved ones upon your death, not only emotionally but possibly even financially.

When getting sorted for when the time comes, one thing that we cannot recommend highly enough is a FUNERAL PLAN.

Putting a Funeral Plan in place gives you the peace of mind that your Funeral is organised, how you want and (most importantly, for many!) the Funeral Director services are paid for in advance.

This not only has the benefit of putting your mind at ease but also takes the financial burden off of your loved one at what is already a difficult time.

We set out below a table of the average cost of a Funeral throughout the years, as well as the predicted costs for 2020 and 2023, and you will see just how much those costs are increasing. It doesn’t take a genius to see that these increases are far above those of inflation!

Putting a Funeral Plan in place guarantees that all of the Funeral Directors service costs are covered and takes away the stress of putting the arrangements in place as this can all be done with a call to activate the plan.

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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Polar Bear Plunge St Albans 2020

Polar Bear Plunge
St Albans 2020

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Happy New Year!

We were absolutely thrilled to be involved with the Polar Bear Plunge St Albans 2020 on New Year’s Day! It was a fabulous day and the community of St Albans really pulled together (don’t they always!) and fun was had by all! 

There are so many brilliant photos (taken by Jo of Striking Places Photography) and these can all be found here.

Our very own Director, Neil, opened the Plunge…

Then the Public Plunging began and here is a selection of just a few of our favourite photos…there are so many more!

As you can see, the fancy dress was exceptional (picking our favourite photos was definitely a struggle!)

We were even joined by some sports groups that were starting the New Year with a challenge!

And, we couldn’t miss this photo, for those that needed that little extra encouragement…

We even got to meet the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 Mascot…

We had a great day (as you can tell from our smiles) and all in aid of two amazing local charities, Earthworks St Albans and Small Acts of Kindness.

We won’t hide the fact that, YES, it is cold but it is also fun and a great way to do something as a family, sports group, business or even on your own!

Quite a few spectators were disappointed they hadn’t brought their swimsuits with them as once they had seen people take the plunge, as they wanted to do it themselves.

A number of plungers also had ideas for next year’s plunge. 

We’re expecting the next plunge to be even bigger and better!

If you want to be involved in the Plunge in 2021; whether sponsoring, volunteering or plunging, please do get in touch…Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

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Leah Waller

Gift From Us

A Gift from Us
to You

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We’ve completed our first calendar year as TLC and what a year it has been. Not only have we helped lots of our clients with putting measures in place to protect them (and their families!) for the future but we also have had some massive wins as a company.

Our highlights of 2019 include:

As a company we joined the Luton Dementia Action Alliance

A group committed to making Luton a Dementia Friendly Community.

100% success rate for registering LPAs with the Office of the Public Guardian

The overall rate for successful registration of applications by the Office of the Public Guardian is currently 53%

We were presented with an award for “Booth of the year” for our Nursery Rhyme video.

An amazing achievement for a Company discussing the ‘Elephant in the Room’!

We successfully became Dementia Friend Champions

We have created over 100 new Dementia Friends so far.

We became official Brand Ambassadors for Rubik’s for our work with the Elderly

This is a role we really enjoy and are excited to continue into 2020.

We successfully completed a Guinness World Record

We launched DementiaTLC 

DementiaTLC is a website and social media for those affected by Dementia.

You can check us out on:

– the website

– Instagram

– Facebook

– Facebook Group   

We launched our Rubik’s session with Young Adults with learning difficulties

As part of this, we are excited to have been added to the curriculum from January 2020 at YAWN Life in Luton.

We started a new project supporting children with Autism

This is a project that we will be developing further throughout 2020.

We have also collaborated with a number of great charities and local businesses and been a part of so many events!

As you will see, these achievements have set us up for going even further in 2020 and we have some amazing projects lined up!

So, to celebrate an amazing year, we are giving you 25% off Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney if you have the initial meeting with us in January 2020.

Wishing you all the best for 2020, it’s going to be a great year.

Much love,

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Neil Barras-Smith

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Tips for a Dementia-Friendly Christmas

Tips for a Dementia-Friendly Christmas

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We first published this article on our website for Caregivers: Dementiatlc.co.uk 

For many of us, Christmas is a fabulous time of year that we really look forward to; spending time with family and friends, eating lots, celebrating and enjoying the festivities!

However, for those affected by Dementia, whether that be those living with Dementia, their loved ones or carers, Christmas can be  a difficult time. 

So, what can we do to encourage a Dementia-Friendly Christmas?

Inclusion

We all love feeling that sense of inclusion and belonging, this is no different for those living with Dementia! 

There is always something that those living with dementia can be included with, family games, helping to decorate the tree or the Christmas cake, perhaps even help with the table setting.

Getting involved with Christmas activities is fun at any age, from decorating Christmas cards and decorations, through to baking, cooking and festive games.

Perhaps you could even look back at past Christmas’ with your loved ones and reminisce on their memories from times gone by.

Gradual change is easier to deal with

Keeping an environment familiar for those living with Dementia is extremely important and so if you do want to add some Christmas Decorations, think about doing this gradually, over time so as not to cause any overwhelming feelings.

This can avoid big changes and allow the person living with Dementia to get used to (and enjoy!) the small, gradual changes.

Routine

Keeping to a routine is important and can prevent anxiety and frustration.

So, over the christmas period try and keep to as much of the usual routine as possible (such as meal times) and try not to introduce lots of new things at once as this will be overwhelming and the person living with Dementia may struggle to cope.

Medication

This may sound like a common-sense approach but with everything else that is going on over the festive period and everything that you have to remember, having enough medication can often slip through the net.

It is so SO important that your loved one has enough medication to see them through the festive period, especially if they are going away or going to stay with family members.

Your loved one’s GP or pharmacist may not be available over the festive period and so having enough medication is imperative.

Quiet Time

As much as we all love the festive fun, we can all appreciate some down, or quiet time.

Having a separate room or area that a loved one with Dementia can go to and relax in, to take some time out and unwind, is helpful.

We all appreciate how overwhelming it can be when we are in loud places with lots of people, especially when it is not an everyday occurrence, and so allowing a loved one with Dementia the opportunity to take some time out can be extremely beneficial.

Food and Drink

A sudden change to the diet of someone living with Dementia can be overwhelming and also have a negative effect on their digestion and health so it is worthwhile being mindful of this.

It is also important to remember that someone living with Dementia may be overwhelmed when faced with a full plate of food, especially food that they are not used to eating, and so being mindful of what, and how much is put on to their plate can be helpful.

We would love to hear your advice and tips for a Dementia-Friendly Chritsmas! 

Please drop us a message on Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or comment below.

 

Wishing you and your families a FABULOUS FESTIVE SEASON!

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TLC talks…MINDFULNESS

TLC talks...
MINDFULNESS

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Last week we were joined LIVE on our Facebook Page by the lovely Ruth Farenga of Mindful Pathway.

Ruth is a qualified Mindfulness Trainer, Transformational Coach & Speaker. ⠀

We had an amazing chat with Ruth discussing what she does, who she helps (and how!) as well as getting a few tips on how to be more mindful and practise mindfulness.

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

Ruth’s contact details are below should you have any other questions, please do get in touch with her, she is so knowledgeable and above all else, just lovely to talk to!

So for the questions and the all important answers, (Not everything is down here and so to listen to the full interview CLICK HERE)…

We are here…joined by the amazing Ruth Farenga from mindful Pathway…

We work with a number of experts and often use them to ask questions for my business or my own personal life and we thought, why not open up their expertise to our clients and friends. 

So today we are talking to the lovely Ruth Farenga of Mindful Pathway.

Ruth has recently just gained an amazing achievement, do you want to tell us about that?

Yes, so just as a bit of brief history…I have been wanting to do one-to-one work for quite a while but everyone seems to be becoming a coach and using it as a badge but I started looking into proper accreditation in a way that I could be a great coach and really help people with their development. I discovered a really great provider, the EMCC –  European Mentoring and Coaching Council. I started an 18 months path with face-to-face training, group supervision, individual supervision (one-to-one support and practise) and then 50 hours where you are filmed coaching, get feedback and self-reflect. At the end of the day they decide whether you have passed or not, it was really good to get that!

That is a lot of work involved in that

I feel like it should be that way, if you are going to have the privilege of working one-to-one with people to help with their self-development then you want someone who is experienced and have done that qualification and done the work to facilitate the space of another.

A lot of people will call themselves a coach but it is more mentoring or advice given which is fine and very useful but coaching is facilitating the space of another to do their own thinking and to reach their potential, to go further in a way that is empowering. A coach should come in, help you believe in yourself, give you tools and allow you to move out of your own way.

Do you have a ‘typical’ client – does this differ across your services?

There are two major categories:

For the public, we do 8-week mindfulness courses, this is all about helping people find more happiness and balance through evidence based methods. These are approved by NICE and are based in St Albans. The typical person is between the ages of 30 and 55, but have people of all ages, we have had a 21 year old and a 75 year old, both men and women.

These are usually people that have lost their zest for life and so feel like they are on the treadmill and just going and going. Sometimes they have experienced anxiety or depression as it can help with relapses of that or people that want to improve their wellbeing if they are already involved in yoga and they want other sustained ways to be mindful.

This is a whole new way of being, sustainable practices of doing so.

The work side:

The typical client is an SME who want to help their staff flourish, be more productive and effective at work and they want to help train them in emotional intelligence and mindfulness.

We do a range of programs and one-to-one coaching, the one-to-one coaching is usually with leaders and a typical leader will be one that is stepping up into a new role and there may be some anxiety around that or there may be some personal distress in their life, maybe divorce or something else where they need a bit of extra support to meet the challenges of the job and see what the company want out of that person. There will be public goals as well as personal needs and the coaching is confidential.

So, you have just finished the 8-week course for the general public, what does it involve?

This is eight session of two-hours plus guided meditations and practises to do between sessions.

There are two teachers, myself and William.

We walk you through a new theme each week and the curriculum spirals to help you develop a new relationship with your thoughts and feelings.

People often think that mindfulness is all about achieving a state of calm, this is not true really, it is about developing a new relationship with thoughts and feelings and relating to stress differently.

We don’t reveal a whole lot about the course beforehand as it is supposed to be something that you follow and get in to.

We meditate, reflect, group share – although you don’t have to share but we evolve as a group and then at the end have a day retreat which is largely in silence.

It is amazing what can happen when the people do the practise and home-practise and approach things differently.

There is up to 18 in the group evening sessions, men and women and all of different ages. I always celebrate when people take the time to work on themselves…it is a radical act of kindness for you.

You do training for businesses and in workplaces, what sorts of things do you focus on?

Mindful leadership

This is a series of sessions, one on building self-awareness and working on self-awareness, one on mindful communication – learning to listen, empathise and relate, to be there for each other, the third is on building positive relationships and the last one is having difficult conversations. So, there are four workshops and then we do coaching in between.

The SMEs can really see the tangible effects.

Ruth kindly talked us through what was involved in a meditation

You also do Keynote Speaking…

Yes, on two main topics:

  • The science of mindfulness

This is all about the neurological change that goes on during meditation and how meditation can rewire your brain. This looks at the neurological change that goes on and we do some little taster experiences as well. We do some meditation and reflect in pairs, then look at the neurological change that happens.

  • Mindful Leadership

This looks at how emotional intelligence can make the difference in business and how mindfulness training helps people perform better at work.

This can therefore be about performing better personally but also helps the company and makes the company perform better and make more money.

You also do mindfulness courses, for small groups and I know we get a small insight into this on the first Monday of each month where you do a brief Mindfulness webinar on Facebook…

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MindfulPathway/

On the first Monday of every month, I do ‘Start the Month Mindfully’ at 1pm on my Facebook Page.

This is a 20-minute mini session and meditation.

When you work with a client on a one-to-one basis is there usually a common outcome or does this completely depend on the client – is this something you can work out at the outset or is it a process?

One-to-one clients will tend to be leaders in companies although I do work with a few members of the public too.

This is usually for leaders that want more clarity and it is all about empowering them to move forward.  They will usually come to me feeling foggy in the brain and stressed and they won’t have much balance but will be looking for ways to move forward, usually quite ambitious and unsure how to move forward.

I have learnt tools and techniques and a lot is about presence and listening, this is very powerful and allows a space to open up for that person to solve their problem. It isn’t always about fixing a problem but opening up an environment for them to work through things.

Common outcomes might be; reaching their potential at work, or moving roles, or even more space to think. There may also be areas to work on such as family and being more present when you are with your family.

Ruth gave us some top tips for listening and also for sharing with others in a mindful way

Book Recommendations:

Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

By Nancy Kline

Mindfulness: Finding peace in a frantic world

By J. Mark G. Williams

Thank you so much Ruth!

Ruth also prepared a great article for us on: Mindfulness over the Festive Period

Ruth Farenga

Mindful Pathway

Ruth@mindfulpathway.co.uk

https://mindfulpathway.co.uk/

We will be taking a break in December from our Expert Talks but we will be back in the New Year – how quick has this year gone!

As always, if there are any experts or talks you would like to hear, then please do get in touch – either drop a comment below or message us privately.

Follow us on Facebook for more information and to get your questions in early!

Follow us on Facebook for more information on our next TLC talks to...

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Leah Waller

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Direct Cremation

Direct Cremation

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Let’s face it, the majority of us want to avoid talking about Funerals, let alone our own!

However, if we really think about it, there are probably a few things we would like and so it is important to get out wishes down whilst we can.

The expense of a Funeral can be a large burden on our nearest and dearest at an awful time and with so many possibilities and considerations, the choices really can be endless.

So, one option is Direct Cremation but what is that, what does it involve and why should you consider it?

We take a look below…

A Direct Cremation takes place without a Funeral Service and most Funeral Directors will now offer this in addition to the traditional Funeral Service options.

A Direct Cremation can benefit those that are looking to keep costs down as well as those with few or no family. As we know, the costs of Funeral can be high and, if not planned for in advance, can leave a heavy strain on your loved ones. A Direct Cremation can also save money on an expensive coffin as there will be no Funeral Ceremony and so no procession.

This type of Cremation is also of benefit for those that do not want a big fuss, or service or would prefer their family and friends to have an alternative celebration away from the actual Funeral Service. Some may leave monies or wishes in relation to holidays, experiences or the like for their family to enjoy in their memory rather than a formal and traditional Funeral Service.

However, some of the possible downsides that you may want to consider are…

When a Direct Cremation takes place, as there is no Funeral Service this does mean that there is nothing for family or friends to attend or leave flowers at and there will be no opportunity (at a Service) for readings or eulogies. There is also no opportunity for viewing on a Chapel of Rest and no choice as to the time and place of the Cremation as this is scheduled by the Funeral Director as no one is able to attend.

Thus, although a Direct Cremation may seem like a good idea for you, and may be preferential in terms of costs, it may be worth considering any friends and families and how they may want to celebrate your life following your death.

As we said at the beginning, talking about Funerals is not a subject that any of us really enjoy.

We outline some of the other potential considerations in our article: What to consider when planning a Funeral

If you have any questions or want 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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Leah Waller

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