Are you, or have you been, in the Armed Forces? If so, did you know that you may already have a valid Will which you are not aware of, and it may even remain valid when you leave the forces?

Members of the armed forces are usually asked to simply write out their wishes in case of death when they first join up, and these instructions are filed away. Did you know that this document may form a privileged Will? Wills made for the armed forces do not have to follow all the usual rules to make them valid.

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Do you want to pass your property on to your children after you die? The way you write your Will may mean this doesn’t happen.

Many people make a Will leaving everything to their partner/husband/wife, and then to their children. Your Will states that your property and assets will pass to your partner or spouse on your death, and once that’s happened, then your Will is no longer relevant. Everything is now owned by your partner or spouse and so when your partner or spouse dies, your share may not pass to your children. It depends what your partner’s Will says.

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Having children is now the most likely cause for people put their affairs in order and get their wills written according to research conducted by YouGov.

According to the research, having children is the only reason given in the majority of cases when it comes to why they made a will. The second most cited reason to make a will was a change in health, with marriages and divorces also cited.

According to YouGov: "For 56%, having children is an important time to make a will, but this is lower than the 62% citing this reason in 2014.

"Almost half – 46% – identify a change in their health circumstances as a time to make a will. This is slightly down from 49% in 2014.

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The number of lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) granted annually has tripled between 2010 and 2015.
Overall, 128,746 LPAs were granted by the Office of the Public Guardian in 2010, whilst 441,461 were granted in 2015.

The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information request by Today's Wills and Probate.

George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said: “This rise in numbers indicates that more people are becoming aware of the benefits of planning for the future.

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Everyone choosing a drawdown pension, should consider having a 'lasting power of attorney’ (LPA) in place when they retire. Financial advisers and their clients should be aware that drawdown, unlike an annuity, requires the person to be able to manage their financial affairs throughout retirement, until their death, and require ongoing management. Many clients receiving a pension will be unable to manage some, or all, of their financial affairs at some point during the retirement, due to physical ill-health or a lack of mental capacity.

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