Be Proactive – Protect You and Your Loved Ones

Solicitor, signing document, JNP

It is important to implement legal safeguards to protect your assets and your loved ones. Many of us avoid talking about these subject matters and when the time comes, it is often too late to achieve what we would like. Being open and proactive is key to ensuring that we are able to protect and provide for those who are most important to us. There are easy ways to achieve this:

• Wills
• Lasting Power of Attorneys
• Lifetime Estate Planning
• Pension Nomination



There is no doubt that you would want your assets and possessions to go to the people and/or organisations (such as charities) that you choose. To ensure that happens you should make a Will. It is important to make a Will, especially if you:

• are unmarried
• own property
• have children
• have savings, investments and/or insurance policies

There are other benefits to writing a Will, including designating a guardian for your children, implementing effective tax planning, minimising the potential for family disputes, speeding up your estate administration and providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

If you do not have a Will, then the rules of intestacy will determine who inherits your estate which could mean that certain loved ones are left without any provision from your estate.


Lasting Power of Attorney

Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is crucial as it allows you to appoint trusted people to legally make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime, if you become unable to make those decisions yourself due to mental or physical incapacity. The nominated people can then ensure that your preferences and best interests are upheld during challenging times. The two types of LPA are:

• Property and Financial Affairs which allows the Attorney to make decisions about property and finances. This LPA can be used both while you have capacity (with your permission) and in the event of you losing capacity; and
• Health and Welfare allows the nominated individual(s) to make decisions about your health/care needs and medical treatment. This LPA can only be used if you are deemed to have lost capacity by a medical professional.

It is important to appreciate that in both cases, if you do not have an LPA in place and later lose mental capacity, your loved ones could be faced with the inability to immediately handle your affairs together with the lengthy and costly process of having to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy.


Lifetime Estate Planning

Lifetime estate planning is a proactive approach to reviewing your estate, and identifying any vulnerabilities which need to be addressed in order to preserve and secure assets for the future. We can work with you in this regard and have links to experienced independent advisers who can provide you with bespoke financial and taxation advice.


Pension Nominations

A top-tip from us is to check with your pension providers that you have signed a nomination form confirming who is to benefit from your pension on your death. If a nomination form has been signed ensure that the information held by the pension provider is up-to-date. This is an easy way of making sure that your pension benefits pass to the right person.



We encourage you to speak with your loved ones about these subject matters, whether that be your partner, parents, siblings or close friends, particularly if you intend to name them as Executors or Attorneys. Be proactive, take charge and ensure that your estate and lifetime planning is as efficient and effective as possible.


by Kimberly Matthews, Lifetime Planning Solicitor at JNP Legal