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A New Year’s resolution is often something you’ve been promising to do for some time and the start of a new year seems like the perfect time to begin. In other cases a resolution could be the result of the stresses of the holiday period making you see things differently and wanting to make a change.

Over the holiday period, people often think about the resolutions they might want to make. Many people want to get in shape or stop smoking, which is no doubt a good idea, but there is one resolution that can have a significant impact, is far easier and takes less time.

Getting your affairs in order is something that is very achievable and can be done in a short space of time. More than half of New Year’s resolutions fail and less than half the population of the UK have a Will in place. The start of the year could present an excellent opportunity to get on the right side of these statistics.

Getting your affairs in order can give you piece of mind and ensure your wishes are carried out. Regardless of your age or the size of the estate you may leave behind, making a Will is certainly something worth considering. It determines what happens with your assets, but also can provide for other issues such as funeral wishes and, if necessary, who might look after children.

Even if you have a Will in place, things change as life goes on. If you look at a snapshot of your life five years ago and compare it to now, you may see significant changes. This is often more potent during the Christmas holidays and can be a worthy catalyst for reviewing your affairs. It’s always a good idea once you have a Will in place, to review it regularly.

There are a number of factors which may require you to update your Will, for example changes in your personal circumstances and changes in the law, such as inheritance tax rules. It may well be that nothing needs to be addressed, otherwise, we make updating your Will quick and stress free.

Another measure that is often overlooked when getting one’s affairs in order, is Lasting Powers of Attorney. Most people know who they would want to look after their financial affairs or make decisions regarding their health and welfare, if they should ever be in a position where they could not make such decisions for themselves.

The reality is, however, that just because those are the people who you want to make such decisions, without the necessary documentation to support your wishes, those people may not have the power to deal with anything at all. A Lasting Power of Attorney ensures that if the time comes, the people acting on your behalf will be the people you choose.

It is easy to say “let’s cross that bridge when we come to it”, but in reality, by this point, it is likely to be too late to make those choices and the result can mean a very lengthy and costly matter involving the Court of Protection.

The reason this resolution is easy to achieve is that all you really need to do, is consider what you want to happen. Many people already have a good idea of what their wishes would be and just haven’t got round to putting the documents in place. Your solicitor will tell you that it is your wishes that matter, so all you need do is tell them what you want and they can take care of the rest.

Whether you’re making a new Will, updating an existing Will or making Lasting Powers of Attorney, you can book a free 30 minute appointment to talk it through with someone from our expert Private Client team. To speak to us call our Private Client team on 0800 988 3650, email willsandprobate@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777.

You can then sit back knowing that your affairs are in order and you have achieved at least one of your goals before the end of January.