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The following services are also available:

Lasting Power of Attorney

This caters for the possibility of the Donor (who appoints the attorneys) becoming mentally incapable of dealing with his or her own financial affairs. If donors subsequently become incapable the appointed attorneys must apply to the Court of Protection to deal with financial matters on their behalf. The powers available to the attorneys are significant and are granted only after further checks have been made with close relatives.

Advance Directives (Living Wills)

These give instructions, in advance, to any physicians caring for the testator during a terminal or incurable illness. The directive is made when the client is in good health, mentally and physically. In the circumstances listed, the directions are to avoid life prolonging technology and to limit treatment to the best possible pain relief (even if this effectively shortens the patient's life). Advance Directives have no formal recognition at present but increasingly the medical practitioners are taking note of these instructions especially if there is no conflict of interests with their professional obligations.

Joint Tenancy Change

This gives notice of the intention to sever a joint tenancy of a property and in the future to own the property as tenants in common for the purpose of being able to dispose of individual shares separately by Will. To effect the changed tenancy status the document is sent to the local Land Registry. When a tenancy is changed in this way, the Wills often grant the survivor a lifetime interest in the separate share of the property.

Codicils

These are used to effect minor variations to an existing Will e.g. substituting other executors of guardians and adding or removing specific gifts or legacies. Codicils are signed and witnessed in the same way as a normal Will and should be kept with but not attached to the original Will.

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