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When planning your finances there are some legal decisions you may start to consider, such as who has control of your finances now and in the future. Thinking about these financial plans as early as possible, means that you’re prepared for the future.
We understand the financial challenges a brain tumour diagnosis can bring, and that taking control of your finances can feel difficult. There’s lots to think about and plan for, so we’ve pulled together advice from our own benefits and money advisor, along with other sources, to help you and your loved ones think about long-term financial plans.
It can be hard to think about writing a Will. Often it will be emotionally challenging and loved ones may find it difficult to talk about. However, it can be comforting to know that writing a Will is one way of planning for the future and making sure that your loved ones are provided for.
And with our free and discounted Will writing services, it doesn't have to cost a penny!
I had to very quickly do a will when I heard I may have a tumour. If you have children it’s best to do that as soon as possible, it takes one worry away.
A Will is a legally binding document which enables you to instruct who gets your property, possessions and money after your death. This is known as your estate. For many people, having a valid Will is reassuring, as it means you’ve made provision for the people and causes you care about the most.
Writing a Will makes sure you get to decide what happens with your assets (such as property, valuables and savings) after you die, choosing who you want them to go to (the beneficiaries, e.g. family, friends and charities), how they will be allocated and the person(s) you want to carry out the allocation (the executors). This also prevents a difficult situation in which your loved ones have to make a decision about how to divide your assets among themselves.
Without a Will, intestacy rules will apply and will determine who benefits from your estate. As a result, the people or causes that are important to you may not receive anything.
It's important to note that the law doesn't automatically recognise cohabitants (either a friend or partner you're living with) as having the same rights as family or married spouses - no matter how long you’ve lived together.
If you want to leave something to a partner, to whom you’re not married, or to a close friend you generally need to include instructions to that effect in your Will.
Writing a Will isn't just about deciding who is going to inherit your estate, it's also an opportunity to leave instructions about your funeral, burial or cremation. It may not be easy to think about this subject, but leaving clear instructions in your Will means your relatives and friends won't need to make that decision after you die.
You may also want to consider donating your organs (including brain donation) or furthering research by leaving instructions about gathering tumour samples that will be used to help researchers understand brain tumour development.
You may worry about what happens if a brain tumour causes you or a loved one to become unable to make decisions about care or financial affairs.
In this case, you may want to consider setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a legal arrangement that allows you to appoint a person (or people) you trust, who will make important decisions on your behalf, if needed.
Making an LPA can give you the reassurance of knowing that if such a time should come, somebody with your best interests in mind will be making those decisions.
There are two types of LPA you can apply for:
This allows you to give someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf about your property and finances. This could include, for example, managing your bank accounts, paying bills, collecting benefits or pension and selling your home.
This allows you to give someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf about your welfare, where you live and the treatment you receive, and allows them to access your health records. This could include, for example, decisions about your daily routine and medical care, moving to a care home and life-sustaining treatment (life support), should you lack the mental capacity to be able to make these decisions yourself.
In order to apply for one or both types of Lasting Power of Attorney, you must be over 18 and have mental capacity to make your own decisions.
Government has published advice and the forms you need to arrange Lasting Power of Attorney. Applying for Lasting Power of Attorney costs £82, although if you receive some means-tested benefits you may pay less or not have to pay at all. The form explains how and when to pay the fees.
Letting someone else take control of your property, finances and welfare is an important decision. You may want to get advice from a solicitor. Government also provides contact details for the Office of the Public Guardian, who you can contact to help you make decisions about applying for Lasting Power of Attorney.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau can give you free information about Lasting Power of Attorney and choosing who you want to make decisions on your behalf.
If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.
By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.
If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:
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