When we talk about a vulnerable person, we often associate this with the elderly, however this is not always the case, people can be classed as being vulnerable at all different ages, it is not just about age, it can be about abilities and emotions.  
 
In the Will Writing & Estate Planning industry, every adult has a right to be able to make a Will or put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. People often think that because a person may have some learning difficulties that they are not capable of putting a Will in place, until it is proven that a person does not have the capacity to do something, then you need to assume that they do have the capacity. 
 
Who has gone to visit their loved one in a Care Home? The answer is most of us have, either as a relative or a close friend, and how many times do you go in, and you see several people sat in the communal lounge, most often asleep, there is no activities, or very little activities, or the residents sat in their rooms, again often asleep. This is no fault of the care homes in general, they are busy people, have a lot of people to look after, and limited funds.  
 
Well a Northampton Man is looking at changing all that! 
With space running out for Burials what other options do we now have? In many parts of London you can no longer opt to be buried, and those parts of London that are still offering burials, they are making the graves deeper so that you are buried on top of someone else. Eco-Burials Grounds are filling up, one local to ourselves near Olney is now full. So what are the other options? Cremation, or a new method coming to the UK soon, Eco-Cremation. 
So with last weeks budget, and house prices still soaring especially in the south of the country, what does the new IHT threshold offer?  
The Office of Budget Responsibility says that the government will rake in near on £2 Billion in extra revenue over the next 5 years from Death Taxes. David Cameron had preciously said back in 2015, that they would take the family home out of ant tax equations, as we as hard working families should be able to pass our home on to our children free of any Inheritance Tax. 
 
So What has happened? 
I know throughout parts of Northamptonshire, Kettering, Wellingborough, Rushden, and Irthlingborough, and many other parts of the country, leaflets have been dropping through peoples letterboxes claiming that you can protect your home, your most valuable asset from having to pay for your care should you require care in the future, sometimes described as Asset Protection Trusts, Family Trusts, Care Home Trusts, with the promise, that you can safeguard your home from having to be used to cover care home fees. 
The new Stealth Tax as may are calling it, is now in place, the new Probate Fees. These new band of fees are going to make it hard for may people who are faced with the task of sorting out their families Estates, putting a financial burden on families that may not have ready funds available to be able to pay the fees that are required upfront for probate to be granted. 
Having a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan in place, means that you are securing the cost of your funeral at today's prices, with the cost of funerals set to rise over the coming years, you know that having secured the cost at today's prices, your family wont have to worry about paying for your funeral in the future, or were that money is going to come from. 
Power of Attorney is not just for the elderly. As an Estate Planner, I see people all the time that have been thrown into a situation where a loved one, whether it be a spouse or partner or their son or daughter has had an unexpected accident, or has suddenly become very ill or has been diagnosed with a life changing illness. Recently I had a young girl in her late teens that had been diagnosed with having a brain tumor. 
It is estimated that by 2025, that there will be well over a million people in the United kingdom that will have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Dementia. The Alzheimer's Society has stated that around one in five people in the United Kingdom over the age of 85 years already have been diagnosed with dementia, and this is going to rise steadily as we are an aging population. Dementia also seems to be a lot higher among women than that of men. 
 
If you do not have Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and you lose mental capacity and are unable to make decisions for yourself, your family and even your spouse will find it virtually impossible to handle your affairs and it will be up to the courts to decide who will then look after your affairs. 
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