Summary of meeting of July 16th ‘Top Tips from a solicitor’
Rebekah Hillman is a Legal Consultant or Probate Practitioner; she was joined by her colleague Daniel Mayman a Sterling and Law Independent Financial Adviser. Rebekah set out to talk for 10 minutes each on 3 topics: Lasting Power of Attorney, Wills and Trusts & Probate. Further information could be requested on each of these topics. Many of us signed for these; those not able to attend can request them.
“Lasting Power of Attorney” (LPA) has replaced “Enduring Power of Attorney”. The latter is still effective; although not registered when issued. For an LPA you need to name up to four ‘Attorneys’, people you trust to act on your behalf should you lose mental capacity; they would then deal with your property and bank accounts. Registration with the Office of Public Guardians gives protection to ensure that those named act in your best interests.
Another form of the LPA is for your health and welfare. In this you appoint people to make decisions about your care should you become unable to do this for yourself. There is also a “Living Will” – a statement about your preferences, such as whether you wish to be resuscitated, also to be signed by two people you trust. Prices vary for drawing up LPAs, but Rebekah quoted a charge of £395 for a pair of LPAs.
Rebekah’s next topic was making a will. She advised updating your will every 3 to 5 years. You should appoint an executor and make sure people know where the will is stored. (Probate will store it for a £20 charge, or the solicitor can hold it) You can name your children as executor, but if beneficiaries it’s wiser to nominate a solicitor. Note that inheritance tax is payable so advice may be needed for those owning property in London. There are methods of protecting assets, for instance part of the estate may be placed in trust. Codicils may be added to one’s will but everyone concerned should be informed.
Related to making a will was the third topic – inheritance tax. Some people use ‘Gifting’ to reduce the value of their estate. Only gifts made seven years before death are deducted from the estate. But remember that our savings may be needed to cover the very high costs of long-term care. At the meeting we handed out an article outlining the current situation regarding care costs.
The inheritance tax (IHT) threshold is £325,000; couples qualify for double that allowance. Various methods can be used to reduce the burden of tax upon your surviving relatives. Note that they have 6 months to pay the IHT, but can opt to pay by instalments. In some cases a bridging loan may be needed as the probate needed to permit the sale of a property cannot be awarded until the IHT is paid.
Esther warned us that funerals can cost around £2,000 or £3,000 so another way you can help your relatives is to arrange a pre-paid funeral; John said ‘Pay now – die later’. Pamela pointed out that ‘Green’ funerals are cheaper. Don’t forget that HPAG and the National Pensioners Convention – both short of funds – are deserving causes that could benefit. Mention these groups that campaign on behalf of pensioners in your will.
The meeting reminded us that professional advice is urgently needed and we should not prevaricate.
The contact details for Hillman Legal Partnerships Ltd. www.hillmanlegal.co.uk Office address: 91 Weston Park London N8 9PR 020 8340 3102
Note: At the September meeting Ann will be selling a 2015 calendar for £3.50 for the only cancer support group in Haringey.
National Pensioners Convention Pensioners Manifesto 2015.
(our group helped with this)
At the General Election in 2015 we will call on candidates to support the manifesto that was endorsed by the Pensioners Parliament at Blackpool.
The manifesto includes:
- a basic state pension above poverty level, indexed to highest of RPI, CPI, earnings or 2.5%,
- universal pensioner benefits,
- a National Health and Care Service free at point of use and funded through taxation
- a legally binding Dignity Code to improve the quality and standards of care for older people.
NPC Transport Conference 18th September: book early!
At St Pancras Church Hall, near Euston. Tickets £5 each from the NPC office.
People’s March for the NHS. JARROW – PARLIAMENT
16 August – 6 September.
The organisers (a group of mums form Darlington) say ‘The NHS is owned by us and loved by us. We are a group of mums concerned and outraged at the assault by government on our most prized possession. Support for the NHS is growing day by day – we need our NHS so it’s time to join the thousands already campaigning together to keep it.’
Register at www.999callforthenhs.org.uk – donate either on the website or by cheque payable to ‘NPC Northern Region’, (on the reverse of cheque please write ‘999callforthenhs’) and send to: Bob Pinkerton, Treasurer, NPC Northern Region, 46 Long Gair, Winlation, Tyne & Wear, NE21 6QZ
For those greeting & supporting the marchers the timetable is:
March leaves Edmonton Green N9 9DX at 10.00 Sat. Sept. 6th, lunch stop 11.45 at Clissold Park, Stoke Newington N16 9HJ, arriving at Unite House, 128 Theobalds Road WC1X 8TN at 2.00. Our HPAG banner will be at Unite House; please join us if you can. The final rally will be in Central London.
1st October – International Day of Older Persons
On Saturday September 27th HPAG will hold a stall in Crouch End to publicise HPAG with leaflets against the means-testing of pensioner benefits and for Hetty Bower’s event. Please volunteer to help on the stall.
Peace & Justice Campaigner Hetty Bower. Join us on Friday October 3rd 7 – 9pm at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square.
TUC march and rally ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’ Saturday 18th October, central London.
NPC Lobby of Parliament on Wednesday Nov 5th
Thursday September 4th Public Meeting: Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital (HANSAH) at Chestnuts Community Centre, 280 St Ann’s Rd. N15 5BN. Barnet Enfield & Haringey Mental Health Trust plan to sell 2/3 of NHS land to property developers. But no health services assessment has been carried out to check that the land can be spared. [email protected]
‘Senior Citizen Coffee Morning’, ground floor Muswell Hill Library on the last Friday of each month (August 29th)
Jackson’s Lane Coffee & Computers, (also on a Friday morning) enquire Stuart Cox Participation Manager, 269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA, Tel 020 8347 2411