Are Your Affairs in Order? Alan Dawson and Julie Garbutt Discuss How to Handle Your Personal Affairs in Turbulent Economic Conditions

The Journal (Newcastle, England), March 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

Are Your Affairs in Order? Alan Dawson and Julie Garbutt Discuss How to Handle Your Personal Affairs in Turbulent Economic Conditions


Byline: Alan Dawson and Julie

IN THE current and turbulent economic conditions you may be tempted to delay reviewing your personal affairs but that can often be the wrong strategy to adopt.

It is always important to make sure that your personal and business affairs are in order. Here are six reasons why.

1. Your will

Have you got a will and is it up to date? If your will was prepared before October 2007 when the inheritance tax rules changed in relation to the Nil Rate Band, then a review of your will is appropriate.

Since you last made your will, have any of the following occurred?

Have you inherited money or assets?

Have you sold your business or other assets?

Has your income increased significantly?

Have there been any significant changes in family and personal circumstances, such as beneficiaries having predeceased you?

Have you married, re-married, entered into a civil partnership, divorced or dissolved a civil partnership or separated from your spouse or civil partner?

Have you bought investment properties with business partners or friends?

If any of the above circumstances have arisen, a review of your will is appropriate.

2. Powers of attorney

Did you execute an Enduring Power of Attorney before September 30 2007? If you did and the attorneys appointed are still the people that you would want to manage your affairs in the event of you losing the mental capacity to manage your affairs no further, action needs to be taken.

However, if you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney, you should consider whether you need to execute a Lasting Power of Attorney (the document which replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney).

As an alternative, and if you simply need someone to have authority to manage your affairs temporarily or sign documents on your behalf, it is still possible to use a General Power of Attorney or a Trustee Act Power of Attorney in relation to jointly owned property.

3. Business assets

Whether you are a partner in an unincorporated business, a member of a limited liability partnership or a shareholder director in a limited company, do you have adequate arrangements in place to protect the value of your investment in the business in the event of your premature death? …

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