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Now that 2016 is behind us, we can look forward to 2017 and the word on the street is that it must be a better year, all round.  With so many changes last year, we hope for some stability in the coming months to allow us to make plans for the future, despite the possible uncertainties of the Brexit negotiations.

The months of January and February are notoriously downbeat for most of us – cold weather, difficult driving conditions making life generally more stressful.   You may be one of those people who prepares for severe weather conditions, but do you prepare for other problems in life that may happen unexpectedly?

Making a Will and keeping it up to date is a good example of this – but are you one of those who plans ahead or are you one who will just ‘take a chance’.  Life, like the weather, is often unpredictable and sorting out your Will and related matters is just too important to leave to chance.

Another matter not to leave to chance is to think about drawing up Lasting Powers of Attorney to appoint the people of your choice to deal with your property and financial affairs and also health and welfare matters if you should lose mental capacity, whether this is as a result of a sudden illness, such as a stroke, or an accident, or just old age.

And if you sadly suffer a bereavement, it is wise to take professional advice on the administration of the Estate – or ‘Probate’ as it is commonly referred to.  Contrary to what you might see on some websites, in most cases it is not just a matter of filling in a few forms and writing a few letters.  Very often there are other considerations to be taken into account surrounding members of the family concerned.  Sometimes there are property issues, trusts to be set up, for minors or children with learning difficulties; sometimes beneficiaries want to give their legacy to others or make suitable arrangements that will be tax efficient in their own Estates – if these are dealt with correctly.  There is no substitute for professional advice and guidance in these matters.

At the start of a new year we all make resolutions – most of which by February have probably been forgotten or will just disappear like the frost.   However, making sure that you have an up to date Will, have thought about making a Lasting Power of Attorney and have taken advice on any of the above mentioned issues that might be relevant to you should be more than just a new year’s resolution to be forgotten about.   These are important matters that can affect the rest of your life and the lives of your loved ones, so don’t be caught out…….plan ahead.

Our specialist team at Parchment will be happy to talk to you and offer you a free initial appointment to discuss matters generally with you and help you make your plans.

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