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
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.
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.