Peace of mind during COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has affected many families and households across the UK in several different ways. Some people have sadly lost loved ones to COVID-19, whereas others may have lost their livelihoods as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19.
With the UK Government recently announcing to the general public that they can expect COVID-19 to remain part of our lives throughout the winter and possibly thereafter, it is clear that further uncertain times remain ahead for everyone.
This is also compounded by the fact that the Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) will come to an end on 31st October 2020. Although the UK Government have devised a replacement for this scheme in the form of their ‘Job Support Scheme’, this scheme is unlikely to prevent redundancies taking place across the UK.
It is now more important than ever to ensure your affairs are in order, offering both you and your family piece of mind.
Here are a few ways you can keep your affairs in order throughout these uncertain times.
Making a Will
The current death rate from COVID-19 stands at over 42,000 deaths in the UK and worryingly this number is expected to continue to rise throughout the winter.
In order to ensure a person’s affairs are in order when they die it is recommended that they have a will.
Making a will is usually simple and straightforward and may cost less than you think. You can deal with your finances, appoint executors, create trusts and appoint guardians for your children.
It is particularly important to make a will if you are unmarried or if you have children who are under 18. Without a will you leave matters to chance and the law.
Making a Power of Attorney
Your will speaks from your death and comes into operation at that point, but what if you are incapacitated before then?
COVID-19 affects everyone in different ways, some people who have contracted the virus have found themselves hospitalised or incapacitated for a long period of time.
Alternatively, if you were to have a stroke or develop dementia at any point in your life, your will executors would have no power to manage your affairs while you are alive.
It is important to plan ahead and have a properly drafted and effective Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place as “insurance” in case the worst happens. An LPA for property and affairs would cover for example someone who you appoint paying bills, collecting pensions and generally looking after your affairs.
An LPA for health and welfare can cover personal matters such as where you live, care plans and end of life issues. Before it can be used the LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
We would recommend you register an LPA straight after it has been signed; this can avoid delays later. Once registered, the LPA can be kept in a safe place until needed.
Our “virtual office” remains open and our staff are able to home work effectively. We are able to take instructions from clients via telephone, Facetime and Zoom instead of the conventional face to face meeting.