Wills, powers of attorney… and access permissions?

Published 24 June, 2020

Our CEO, Angus Jones, highlights the importance of having a valid will, along with some of the other key issues to consider at the same time.

Times of extreme uncertainty often act as a natural prompt to ‘get our affairs in order’. And the biggest global health crisis in a century is, of course, no exception.

Over the last few months, solicitors and law firms across the UK have seen a huge increase in demand for will-writing services. Despite the grim circumstances, this is a good thing. Considering one’s own demise is not something many people wish to dwell on. However, having a current, valid will is an absolutely vital part of effective financial planning. The laws of intestacy rarely, if ever, match the wishes of either the deceased or those they have left behind.

If you need to create or update your will, our clarityLAW legal service, provided in conjunction with Taylor Vinters, includes fixed-fee will, trust and estate planning services.

Hand-in-hand with will planning, comes the question of whether you should also arrange a lasting power of attorney (LPA). Many of us may well be fortunate enough to live a long life, but won’t necessarily always be able to manage our personal affairs. Should you suffer physical or mental incapacity, an LPA can make life a lot easier and less stressful for you and your loved ones. You can learn more about LPAs here.

Then we come to the third crucial, but often overlooked, point; ensuring the relevant people have access to your policy information and documentation, without compromising the security of your data. As a firm of advisers, we have dealt with a number of situations where practical omissions have caused enormous problems on someone’s death. Many people store key financial information directly on their computer, but with no ‘emergency guidance’ (password tips etc) on how to access it. This is another issue that our clarityONLINE system has been specifically designed to address.

clarityONLINE: document sharing and ‘permissions’

Anyone can register, free of charge, for a clarityONLINE account with access to our financial planning tools, guidance and research. clarity clients also benefit from our virtualWRAP® - a live valuation feed of all assets held through us.

Alongside any clarity holdings, which are included automatically, you can also manually enter details of any assets, liabilities, policies or investments that you hold directly or through other advisers. These ‘self-managed holdings’ are then shown as part of your overall valuation, giving you a single, complete picture of your overall wealth.

Crucially, you can then also set ‘permissions’ – giving access to your spouse, partner, attorney or anyone else of your choosing. This is a great way to ensure that everyone has easy, secure access to the information they need.

Coming soon… secure document centre within clarityONLINE

One of the next items on our development roadmap for clarityONLINE, is the addition of a secure document centre. This will enable you to upload any and all of your important documentation, for example wills, trust deeds, LPAs, expression of wish/nomination forms. Once uploaded, you can then use the permissions functionality to share your documentation with the relevant people.

Find out more

To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact your usual clarity adviser – or get in touch using the details below:

Tel: 0800 368 7511

Email: enquiries@clarityglobal.com

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