‘Fight Procrastination’ Day

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By Victoria Wood, Solicitor in the Older and Vulnerable Client team.

‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today’ said Lord Chesterfield, the eighteenth-century statesman. Wise words; and no doubt admired, until Oscar Wilde put his own stamp upon the proverb, declaring that “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after!”

As private client solicitors, all too often we see the consequences when people tend towards Oscar’s approach. We assist clients daily to prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney for financial and health-related decisions. However, there remain some clients who will only seek our help after it becomes clear that these documents should have been prepared, but were not.

Around two-thirds of adults in the UK do not have a Will. Married couples who assume that the survivor will automatically inherit under the intestacy laws will find that this is not the case where there are children. Unmarried couples without children might also find that their heirs under the intestacy laws are very different from those that they would choose themselves. In addition to this, provisions for children, vulnerable family members, and mitigation of Inheritance Tax can all be made in a Will. Why put off taking the same care over your family in death, that you take for granted in life?

Similarly, decisions about who will deal with your affairs during your lifetime, should you become incapable of doing so yourself, also tend to be put off ‘until I’m older’. However, age catches up with us all, and life is precarious; we cannot foretell whether it will be possible, as Oscar suggested, to do something the day after tomorrow. By the time age or sudden incident renders us incapable, it is too late to plan. Relatives or friends are left making a lengthy and expensive application to Court to appoint someone to take decisions on your behalf – and they won’t necessarily be the person you would choose yourself.

These decisions can be daunting and discussing the sensitive issues that arise with family members can be fraught with difficulty. We provide a neutral and experienced sounding board for you to discuss these topics. We can also guide you through the processes necessary to ensure that your wishes are known and that your loved ones have clarity and direction at distressing and challenging times.

‘Procrastination is the thief of time’ is perhaps a more suitable adage to remember; don’t put off making your wishes known today, because if you do, it can cause many more problems in the future.

Contact Victoria Wood to discuss updating your will or setting up lasting powers of attorney.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.