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Legal experts urge families to “break stigma around death” and plan for the future

Legal experts are urging families to “break the stigma around death” and talk about planning for the future.

The report, published by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), comes after research revealed that less than half of adults in the UK have written a Will.

The national association of lawyers is urging families to have conversations about death and dying – no matter how “difficult” or “intimidating” they may seem – to help them plan for the future and make sure their wishes are “properly communicated” with family and friends.

In Britain, anyone over the age of 18 can draft a legal document – a Last Will and Testament – stating exactly how they would like their assets to be distributed after death.

You can also appoint someone to look after your healthcare and finances – known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – should you unexpectantly fall sick.

By planning now, you can also take action to reduce Inheritance Tax (IHT), ensuring that your loved one benefit more from your hard-earned estate.

Unfortunately, however, many families aren’t given the right advice before it’s too late.

The latest statistics suggest that less than one in two (47 per cent) adults in the UK have written a Will, meaning loved ones could suffer financially due to the rules of intestacy.

Where there is no valid Will, the rules of intestacy state that only the next of kin – such as a spouse, a civil partner, or children – can inherit the deceased person’s estate, meaning a cohabiting partner, a charity, or a life-long friend would not automatically be entitled to anything.

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our estate planning and Will writing team today.

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