Information and FAQs


Do you only escort the elderly or infirm to medical appointments?
Does Lovingly Managed’s service include help to move someone into a nursing home and clearance of nursing home rooms?
I don’t understand what you mean by searching premises?
Can Lovingly Managed help me if I am blind, visually impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, dumb or have a speech impediment?

What to do when someone dies


What documents and information are initially needed when someone dies to enable the funeral to take place?
What do I have to do in the first five days?
Where and when do I have to register a death?
Is the time limit the same to register a stillbirth?
Who can register a death?
What documents do I need to register a death?
What documents will I receive?
Can I remove a body from England or Wales?
What happens if the death is referred to a coroner?
What documents do I need to notify benefit/tax credits offices?
What documents or other items do I need to sort out the deceased's affairs?
What other things need to be done?
Are there others who I need to contact?
Can I get any benefits or financial help?
What happens to money in joint accounts?
Where should I keep money belonging to the estate?

Relating to Wills and Probate


Why make a Will?
What is a Will?
Can I change my Will?
Who can make a Will?
What makes a Will valid?
Who can be a witness?
What is a Codicil?
Where should I keep my Will?
Can I cancel my Will?
What happens if there is no Will or the Will is deemed invalid?
What if I don’t make a Will?
Can non blood relatives share in my estate under intestacy rules?
What is the difference between Probate and Letters of Administration?
Does everyone have to have Probate or Letters of Administration to be able to administer the estate?
Do I have to use a solicitor to obtain a grant of Probate or grant of Letters of Administration?
Can I apply for a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration myself?
Can I ask someone else apart from a solicitor to apply for a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration on my behalf?
Can I start doing things before I have obtained Probate or Letters of Administration?

Relating to Powers of Attorney


Is my Enduring Power of Attorney still valid?
Can I cancel or revoke my Enduring Power of Attorney?
Can I have two different Powers of Attorney?
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Are there two types of Lasting Power of Attorney?
Who can make an LPA?
What does registration of power of attorney mean?
How long does registration take?
Once registered, what are my powers if I am the attorney?
Can Lovingly Managed help with Court of Protection form filling?

Relating to Advance Directives


What are advance directives?
Does the document need to be witnessed?
How does anyone know I’ve got one?
Who can make them?
Why should I have an advance directive?

Relating to End of Life plans


What is an End of Life care plan?
Why is a Lovingly Managed End of Life plan different?
Have you put unusual things in your plans?
Do I have to choose a family member to carry out my wishes?
Is it only those who know they don’t have long to live who make End of Life plans?
Can an End of Life plan be changed?
Can making an End of Life plan be inheritance tax efficient?
I’m not likely to die for another 30-40 years. What happens if I take out an End of Life package with Lovingly Managed and something happens which means the company can’t fulfil the contract?

Funerals


Do all funeral directors provide a “green funeral” option?
Do all funeral directors provide coffin alternatives to traditional wooden ones?
Is Lovingly Managed a funeral director?
Can members of Lovingly Managed register a death?
Do Lovingly Managed co-ordinate green funerals?
Is it correct that if you want a natural burial you cannot be embalmed?
What are DIY funerals?
Can I have a home burial?
What about planning permission for home burials?
What about grave digging and grave depth
What are the consequences of a private land burial?
Where can I get a burial register?
Should I make plans for my own funeral?
What is a funeral plan?
Does it make sense for me to take out a pre-paid funeral plan?
What do I get for my money?
What happens to the money that I pay for a funeral plan?
How do trustees ensure that enough money is available to pay for all the funerals of plan holders?
Can Lovingly Managed provide a Funeral Plan?
What help can Lovingly Managed provide to my family to give me peace of mind?
What are state-funded funerals?
Does Lovingly Managed arrange pet funerals and pet cremations?



Do you only escort the elderly or infirm to medical appointments?
No. As well as acting as a companion for hospital visits we can accompany people on other non medical occasions such as attending functions and parties.

Does Lovingly Managed’s service include help to move someone into a nursing home and clearance of nursing home rooms?
Yes it does. If someone has to move into a nursing home or into long term residential care and they have no family to help them then Lovingly Managed can fill that gap and do whatever is practically necessary to help the person. We also carry out clearance of residential home rooms within days, or sometimes hours, when it has been vacated so that the family is not faced with bills when the room is no longer in use. Facilitating the swift execution of these necessary moves also has the added advantage of relieving bed blocking at hospitals.

I don’t understand what you mean by searching premises?
It is often the case that people hide valuables and cash in their homes and if the property is not searched very carefully it is amazing how much may be missed and possibly thrown out in error. Lovingly Managed makes a thorough search and provides the family or executor with a full inventory of what is in the property, obtains a valuation of assets if required, arranges delivery and/or shipping of gifted items and anything else that is required of them.

Can Lovingly Managed help me if I am blind, visually impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, dumb or have a speech impediment?
Yes, of course we can, although people with hearing or speech impairments will need to meet with us face-to-face in order to complete an End of Life plan.

What to do when someone dies

What documents and information are initially needed when someone dies to enable the funeral to take place?
You'll need the medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor) and, if available, the deceased’s birth certificate, marriage/civil partnership certificates and NHS number/NHS medical card and other information such as the deceased’s full name at death, any names previously used, including maiden surname, their date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK) and country if born abroad, their last address, their occupation, the date of marriage/civil partnership if a certificate isn’t available, the full name, occupation and date of birth of a surviving spouse or civil partner and whether the deceased was receiving a state pension or any other state benefits. All this needs to be provided as soon as possible following death to enable registration of the death and to start funeral arrangements. Sometimes you may be asked if the person held an organ donor card or what religion they practised.

What do I have to do in the first five days?
There are a few steps that need to be taken shortly after the death. You need to notify the family GP; register the death at a register office; find the Will - the deceased person’s solicitor may have a copy if you can't find one; begin funeral arrangements - you will need to check the Will for any special requests; if relevant, complete form BD8, given to you when you register the death, and send it to the local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security office. If the deceased was receiving any benefits or tax credits, advise the offices that were making the payments.

Where and when do I have to register a death?
In England and Wales, you normally need to register the death within five days. It's best to go to the registry office in the area in which the person died, otherwise it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements. It will take about half an hour and you may need to make an appointment beforehand so check, as different registry offices operate different systems.

Is the time limit the same to register a stillbirth?
A stillbirth normally needs to be registered within 42 days, and at latest within three months. In many cases, this can be done either at the hospital or at the local register office.

Who can register a death?
A relative, someone present at the time of death, an occupant of the household, an official from the hospital if the person died in hospital OR the person making arrangements with the funeral directors – this can of course include a representative from Lovingly Managed.

What documents do I need to register a death?
When registering a death you'll need to take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor), and if available the birth certificate, marriage/civil partnership certificates and NHS medical card. You'll need to tell the registrar the person's full name at time of death, any names previously used, including maiden surname, the person's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad), their last address, their occupation, the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner and whether they were receiving a state pension or any other state benefit.

What documents will I receive?
If no post-mortem is being held, you will receive a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (called the 'green form'). This gives permission for the body to be buried, or for an application for cremation to be made. You will also receive a Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8 - commonly referred to as the death certificate). This is issued for social security purposes if the person received a state pension or benefits (please read the information on the back, complete and return it, if it applies). You'll be able to buy one or more death certificates at the time you register the death. These will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the deceased’s affairs, and copies will be required for viewing by utility companies, financial institutions etc, with which the deceased was dealing so it is better to buy a few in order to speed up this process as they are more expensive if you need to get extra copies later (the copies provided will be returned to you once the companies are satisfied that the death is genuine). If a post-mortem is needed, the coroner will issue any necessary documents as quickly as possible afterwards.

Can I remove a body from England or Wales?
There is no restriction on moving a body within England and Wales but you need to notify the coroner for the district concerned if you want to move a body to Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or overseas. To do this you will need a form, which can be provided by a coroner or registrar. You will then need to give the completed form to the coroner and enclose any certificate for burial or cremation that has already been issued to you. The coroner will acknowledge receiving that notice and will let you know when the body can be moved - usually four clear days from when the notice was received. However, in urgent situations, the whole process can usually be fast-tracked.

What happens if the death is referred to a coroner?
In a small number of cases - where the cause of death is unclear, sudden or suspicious - the doctor or hospital or registrar will report the death to the coroner. The coroner must then decide whether there should be further investigation. The registrar cannot register the death until the coroner's decision is made.

What documents do I need to notify benefit/tax credits offices?
You will need correspondence confirming payment to the deceased of benefits (normally Jobcentre Plus office), tax credits (HM Revenue & Customs) and/or state pension (Department for Work and Pensions) and the child benefit number in the case of a child’s passing. If you are providing documents for a partner or relative then you will need to provide proof of your relationship to the deceased (e.g. marriage/civil partnership or birth certificate, child's birth certificate naming both parents and your social security card/national insurance number if you will be claiming/changing benefits

What documents or other items do I need to sort out the deceased's affairs?
The personal representative is the person formally responsible for sorting out the deceased’s estate, paying any taxes and debts and distributing the estate. They will need the following documents (where relevant): the Will if there is one; sealed copies of the grant of representation (probate/letters of administration); death certificate (often needed when requesting access to funds; it's best to order at least two extra certified copies when registering the death); any bank and building society account statements; any investment statements/share certificates; any personal or company pension account statements; any life insurance documents (including mortgage cover); any general insurance policies (home, car, travel, medical etc); any relevant correspondence or statements from Jobcentre Plus (for benefits) and/or The Pension Service.

For amounts owed by the deceased you will need any mortgage statements, credit card statements, utility/ council tax bills in the deceased's name, rental agreements/statements (private or local authority), other outstanding bills, lease/hire purchase agreements or similar (e.g. for equipment, car or furniture) educational loan statements and any other loan statements. You must also check for any amounts owed to the deceased by looking for outstanding invoices if the deceased ran a business, written/verbal evidence of other money owed to the deceased, any property deeds or leases (main home and any other at home or abroad) and property keys. For other possessions owned by the deceased you will need existing valuations of property such as jewellery, paintings and similar (though an up-to-date market valuation will be required), any existing inventories of property/possessions, any safety box deposit information. If the deceased was employed you will need their PAYE P60 form, latest pay slips, most recent tax return and tax calculation statements (if relevant). If the deceased was self-employed you will also need all company registration documents, accounts, tax and VAT returns if they had a business.

What other things need to be done?
Not everything can be done straight away, particularly as this is a very difficult time for people to cope with, but it is important to make sure everyone who needs to know is told of the death, that you arrange to see the deceased's solicitor and the Will is read as soon as possible. This will tell you if there are any special funeral requests and who the executors are and then the executors can start arranging the funeral and collecting all the information and documents needed.

Are there others who I need to contact?
As well as informing people who are close to the deceased, in many cases you'll need to close down accounts, or cancel or change insurance details, subscriptions, agreements, payments or direct debits. You will therefore need to ensure that all relatives and friends, employers, schools, solicitor/accountants are told. The government organisations who also require to be told are the relevant tax office, National Insurance contributions office if the deceased was self-employed (to cancel payments), Child Benefit office (at latest within eight weeks), local authority if the deceased paid council tax, had a parking permit, was issued with a blue badge for disabled parking, or received social services help, attended day care or similar, the UK Identity and Passport Service, to return and cancel a passport, the DVLA, to return any driving license, cancel car tax or return car registration documents/change ownership. You may also need to inform certain financial organisations such as general insurance companies - contents, car, travel, medical etc, any other company with which the deceased may have had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements. If the deceased was the first named on an insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured. You should also check for pension providers/life insurance companies, banks and building societies, mortgage provider, hire purchase or loan companies and credit card providers/store cards. Other people who might need to be informed are any landlord or local authority if the deceased rented a property, any private organisation/agency providing home help, utility companies if accounts were in the deceased's name, Royal Mail, if mail needs re-directing and TV/internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions. Other organisations that you should check with are clubs, trade unions, associations with seasonal membership to cancel membership and arrange for refunds of monies already paid, church/regular place of worship, social groups to which the deceased belonged, dentist, creditors - anyone to whom the deceased owed money and debtors - anyone who owed the deceased money.

Can I get any benefits or financial help?
You may be able to claim certain benefits and one-off payments if you lived with or were dependent on the deceased. Time limits apply, so contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office as soon as possible to find out. You may be able to make a claim for one or more of the following: Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Bereavement Payment, Funeral Payment; and check your current benefits and tax credits.

What happens to money in joint accounts?
The deceased person may have held money with another person in a joint bank or building society account. Normally this means that the surviving joint owner automatically owns the money. The money does not form part of the deceased person's estate for the purpose of “administration” and therefore does not need to be dealt with by the executor or administrator. However, a deceased person's share in joint property is treated as part of their estate for inheritance tax purposes, both on death and on gifts made during their lifetime so the value of the deceased’s half will need to be included in the probate papers.

Where should I keep money belonging to the estate?
Whatever the size of the estate, it's a good idea to open a separate 'estate account' with a bank or building society, so that all transactions relating to the administration of the estate can be recorded. Beneficiaries are entitled to go to the court and seek an order that the executor/administrator provide them with a full inventory of the estate and a copy of the estate accounts.

Relating to Wills and Probate

Why make a Will?
People don’t like thinking about death and the effects it has on those they leave behind, but it is something that all of us eventually have to face. You would normally wish your assets to pass to whomever you choose and by making a Will you can ensure that this is the case.

There are some assets that cannot be given away in your Will (e.g. property you hold in joint names, which usually passes automatically to the other joint owner) but most of your property can be dealt with by a Will.

What is a Will?
It is a legal declaration of how you wish to dispose of your property on your death. In order for it to be valid it must comply with certain requirements.

It is best to obtain professional advice. A solicitor or professional will writer should be able to advise you on the best way to draw up your Will so that it properly reflects what you want and, most importantly, that it is valid. They can also help you with inheritance tax planning and setting up trusts. Doing it yourself may be fine for you, but if you make a mistake, it can be costly and distressing for your beneficiaries, especially if your Will turns out not to be valid.

Can I change my Will?
Yes you can and it is advisable that you review your Will regularly to ensure that it still meets your requirements as your circumstances change, otherwise problems or complications can arise. There are many reasons why you may need to change your Will after you have made it. The most obvious is a change of your family circumstances, especially your marital situation. If you marry, separate, divorce or re-marry, you should certainly make a new Will.

Who can make a Will?
Generally speaking, anyone over the age of 18 and of sound mind but it is sometimes possible for members of the armed forces to make a Will under the age of 18; legal advice should be sought in these circumstances. There are also provisions under the Mental Health Act 1983 where the Court of Protection may approve the making of a Will, or a Codicil to a Will for someone who is mentally incapable of doing so themselves.

What makes a Will valid?
It must be in writing, should appoint someone to carry out the instructions (an executor/executrix) and dispose of possessions/property. It must be signed by the person making the Will (the testator/testatrix), or signed on the testator’s behalf in his or her presence and by his or her direction. This must be done in the presence of two independent witnesses who then sign the Will in the presence of the testator and at the same time and in the same room as the testator/testatrix signs the document.

Who can be a witness?
Anyone who is not blind and who is capable of understanding the nature and effect of what they are doing. However, a witness should not be a beneficiary in the Will or married to, or be the civil partner of, a beneficiary. In these circumstances the Will remains a valid and legal document, but the gift to the beneficiary cannot be paid.

What is a Codicil?
It is a legal declaration of a change or addition to your existing Will and should be stored with your original Will.

Where should I keep my Will?
Your Will may not be required for many years after you make it so it is essential that it is stored safely and that it can be found after your death. The main storage providers are solicitors who may charge and banks who will charge. Be aware that if you place your Will in a safety deposit box this can’t be opened until probate is granted and probate can’t be granted without the original Will. You can also deposit your Will with the Probate Registry head office in London through any Probate Registry in England and Wales, or through Lovingly Managed, for a low cost, one-off fee. You can of course keep it yourself but make sure your executors know where to find it.

Can I cancel my Will?
Yes, this is known as revoking your Will. You may revoke your Will at any time by destroying it or by making another Will cancelling all previous Wills.

What happens if there is no Will or the Will is deemed invalid?
If a Will is deemed invalid, it is disregarded and the deceased person’s property is distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules.

What if I don’t make a Will?
If you don’t leave a valid Will your estate will pass in accordance with the intestacy rules. They set out exactly who is entitled to inherit from your estate. If you are married or are in a civil partnership, the first person entitled to your estate under the intestacy rules is your spouse/civil partner, but he or she will not necessarily inherit the whole of your estate (the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5th December 2005 and gave same-sex couples the right to register their partnerships, giving them broadly the same legal rights as married couples). The amount your spouse/civil partner would inherit depends on how much is in your estate and which of your blood relatives survive you. Assets held in joint names usually pass automatically to the other joint owner(s) and do not form part of your estate (if you are unsure about the type of joint ownership you share with another, you should consider seeking legal advice).

The rules are very specific but a simple way to understand them is to look at the government information provided by the Court Service http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/docs/infoabout/civil/probate/Probate_WhoSurvivedTheDeceased.pdf. This shows that the current spouse entitlement is only for the first £250K. For those who died prior to the 1st February 2009, the spouse/civil partner entitlement is significantly less – £125K.

If you are living together but are not legally married or in a civil partnership but wish your partner to inherit some or all of your estate OR are legally married or in a civil partnership and have children and you wish your spouse/civil partner to inherit all of your estate OR have no living relatives and wish to leave your estate to your friends or to a charity (the Crown may take your estate if you die leaving no Will and no surviving relatives) OR are legally married or in a civil partnership and you don’t wish your spouse/civil partner to inherit anything OR are legally married or in a civil partnership but have no children OR are legally married or are in a civil partnership and have children from a previous relationship and you wish to ensure that your children receive something from your estate OR have dependant relatives e.g. children under 18, elderly relatives or relatives with a disability who have special needs and you want to make sure that they are looked after and provided for (if you make a Will you can appoint guardians to look after your children and set up trusts in your Will to provide for dependants) OR your estate is large and may be liable for inheritance tax and you may wish to make arrangements for tax planning THEN the intestacy rules will not provide the outcome you wish. So you can see that making a Will is essential in almost every case to ensure your estate is disposed of in accordance with your wishes.

Getting married, or entering into a civil partnership after your Will is made, will generally revoke (cancel) it unless the Will says it will not. Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership also affects your Will but does not revoke it. If you divorce or dissolve your civil partnership after your Will is made, any reference to your former spouse or civil partner will be treated as if he or she had died on the day that the decree absolute or final dissolution order was made. You should seek legal advice in these circumstances.

Can non blood relatives share in my estate under intestacy rules?
Apart from the spouse or civil partner of the deceased, only blood relatives, and those related by legal adoption, are entitled to share in the estate. Anyone who is related only through marriage and not by blood (for example, a step-brother or step-sister) is not entitled to share in the estate. Also, if you have a biological child who has been legally adopted by another person, they will not be eligible to benefit from your estate under the intestacy rules as they are no longer, in effect, considered to be yours. In this case the child would be eligible to inherit from their adoptive parent’s estate. So, if you have a child who has been legally adopted, and you want them to benefit from your estate, then it is essential that you make a Will.

What is the difference between Probate and Letters of Administration?
Probate is the document which you receive from the Probate Registry after proving the Will of the deceased. Letters of Administration are granted to certain people by the Probate Registry to enable them to administer the estate of someone who has not made a Will and they have to abide by the intestacy rules.

Does everyone have to have Probate or Letters of Administration to be able to administer the estate?
No, if the deceased owned no property or land or had assets under £5,000 then Probate or Letters of Administration will not be necessary. The next of kin can usually apply to whoever holds money on behalf of the deceased to have this paid to them but they will usually be asked to sign a form of indemnity, or statutory declaration, which basically means that the person who received the money and signed for it can be forced to return it if it is found that they should not have had it for some reason in the first place, for example, if it is later found that the deceased did in fact have assets in excess of £5,000.

Do I have to use a solicitor to obtain a grant of Probate or grant of Letters of Administration?
You can ask a solicitor to apply for the grant for you. There will undoubtedly be a charge to provide this service, so you should check first.

Can I apply for a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration myself?
Yes you can and the forms you need to complete depend on where the person lived and whether or not you expect inheritance tax to be due on the estate. Inheritance tax is only paid on certain estates, when the taxable value of the deceased person's estate (after exemptions) is over the inheritance tax threshold relevant to the date of death (see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/iht-probate-forms/find-right-forms.htm). Even if the deceased’s estate is under the inheritance tax level, you will still need to complete an Inheritance Tax form to provide to the Probate Registry with your application. You will also need to fill in the probate forms and when completed, sign and send them to the relevant Probate Registry with their fee. The person who made the application will be asked to attend to swear an affidavit confirming the accuracy of the information given. This does not take very long and following that attendance, the Probate or Letters of Administration is produced shortly thereafter.

Can I ask someone else apart from a solicitor to apply for a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration on my behalf?
Yes, if you are an executor you can also appoint someone else (apart from a solicitor) to apply for a grant on your behalf. This person is called your 'attorney' and must fill in form PA1 and send it to the Probate Registry together with a signed letter from you, the executor, explaining that you want the attorney to apply on your behalf. Lovingly Managed can do this for you if required, they can become funeral administrators, working on your behalf, and help you to carry out the probate administration. There is quite a lot of probate form filling and, if required, Lovingly Managed can help with completion of probate forms.

Can I start doing things before I have obtained Probate or Letters of Administration?
If you are an executor, under the terms of a valid Will, then yes, there are quite a few things you can do because you obtain your authority to do so from the Will itself. You will, however, be unable to sell any land or property without the Probate in place although there is nothing to stop you marketing the property for sale while informing any potential buyers that you are unable to exchange contracts or complete the transaction until the Probate is actually granted. If you are a potential administrator who has or will be applying for Letters of Administration, because the deceased did not leave a valid Will, then in that case you have no authority to “deal” with any assets of the deceased until the Letters of Administration have been granted as you will only obtain your authority when that document has been produced.

Relating to Powers of Attorney

Is my Enduring Power of Attorney still valid?
Many people have an existing Enduring Power of Attorney which they completed prior to the change in the law by The Mental Capacity Act which replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) with a new and different type of power of attorney called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This means that you cannot make any changes to an existing EPA or make a new one. However, if you have an unregistered EPA that was made before 1st October 2007, it can still be used and your attorney will still need to register it with the Office of the Public Guardian if they have reason to believe you are, or are becoming, mentally incapable.

Can I cancel or revoke my Enduring Power of Attorney?
The best way to revoke an unregistered EPA is to sign a formal document called a 'Deed of Revocation'. You may also consider replacing your unregistered EPA with a Property and Financial Affairs LPA. You can revoke an unregistered EPA at any time whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. However, if the EPA has been registered, it cannot be revoked except by permission of the Court of Protection.

Can I have two different Powers of Attorney?
You can make an LPA to run alongside an EPA if you wish. For example, you may have an existing EPA that makes provision for decisions about your property and affairs and decide to make a Health and Welfare LPA to run alongside that, to provide for decisions concerning your healthcare and welfare.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a legal document that you (the donor) make using a special form. It allows you to choose someone now (the attorney) that you trust to make decisions on your behalf about things such as your property and financial affairs or health and welfare at a time in the future when you no longer wish to make those decisions or you may lack the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. An LPA can only be used after it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

Are there two types of Lasting Power of Attorney?
Yes, one deals only with Property and Financial Affairs and the other deals with Health and Welfare. You can, of course, appoint the same attorney to implement both documents or choose different attorneys to deal with the different roles. If you are a business owner you might want to consider having a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney specifically relating to your business assets only so that in the event of your having an accident which means that you cannot deal with your business, you will have already appointed a person of your choice who will be able to deal with those affairs for you until you are able to return to work.

Who can make an LPA?
Anyone aged 18 or over, with the capacity to do so, can make an LPA appointing one or more attorneys to make decisions on their behalf. You cannot make an LPA jointly with another person; each person must make his or her own LPA.

What does registration of power of attorney mean?
If someone has power under an Enduring Power of Attorney, they are able to exercise and use that power at any time. They don’t need to register it at the Court of Protection until the donor of the power (the person who made the document) is becoming, or has become, mentally incapable of looking after their affairs. If, however, someone has power under a Lasting Power of Attorney then they are unable to use that power until the document has been registered at the Court of Protection.

How long does registration take?
Usually anything from one to five months depending on how busy the Court is at any given time.

Once registered, what are my powers if I am the attorney?
Basically you stand in the shoes of the donor (the giver) of the power and can do what they could. However, you can of course only use the power for the benefit of the donor and not yourself. If you are in any doubt then you should check with the Court of Protection which has full details and advice for donors and attorneys alike.

Can Lovingly Managed help with Court of Protection form filling?
There can be quite a lot of forms to complete and, if required, Lovingly Managed can help with completion of Court of Protection forms.

Relating to Advance Directives



What are advance directives?
Advance directives are documents, written while you are still able to make decisions, saying that if you become incompetent for medical reasons, then you no longer want artificial, life-sustaining measures taken on your behalf and no legal action will be taken by your family against any member of the medical profession.

Does the document need to be witnessed?
The document usually needs two independent witnesses.

How does anyone know I’ve got one?
A copy of such a document needs to be registered with your GP so that it becomes part of your medical records. However, if you are regularly admitted to hospital, it would be wise to keep a copy with your hospital records too.

Who can make them?
Anyone over 18 with sufficient capacity.

Why should I have an advance directive?
"Do everything you can to save my father." Doctors hear this a lot. It's the easy thing for family members to say, but it's not necessarily what their father would have said. That's why people need to think about advance directives (sometimes called living wills) for medical care. You never know when you may be struck down with a degenerative disease or mental illness such as Alzheimers, cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease or become a vulnerable adult so it is wise to consider making a living will and/or an End of Life plan so your family is clear about your wishes.

Relating to End of Life plans

What is an End of Life care plan?
It is a document whereby you state what you would want someone to do for your health care if you got to a stage whereby you could not make the decisions yourself, either for physical or mental reasons.

Why is a Lovingly Managed End of Life plan different?
Lovingly Managed’s End of Life plan includes all the practical information your family and/or executor will need to carry out your funeral wishes to your strict instructions and for them to deal with the administration of your estate following your death. This is called bereavement planning. It avoids you having to talk to them about it during your lifetime if you or they find it difficult to discuss these issues. It includes your instructions for the guest list to your funeral, who you want told, what you want to wear, what you want your mourners to wear, what type of service (if any) that you want, where you want it, what music and readings you want, what transport you want – traditional cars, lorries, motor cycles, VWs, horse drawn carriages - whether or not you want a green (alternative) funeral, what food you want to be served at the post-funeral gathering - and many more choices; it’s up to you. Because you specify these decisions in your plan, your family will know exactly what you wanted and not worry about making decisions of which they are not sure you would have approved. You can write your own obituary, your own eulogy, you can get your own way! Brilliant for all us control freaks out there.

Have you put unusual things in your plans?
Yes, we have a client who has asked us to include an instruction in his End of Life plan that, when he has been cremated, he wishes his ashes to be sent into space. We have sourced this for him and will carry out his wishes when the time comes. Others wish their ashes to be made into life gems or even paperweights. We have clients who tell us exactly what shade of nail polish, lipstick and eye make-up they wish to wear to their own funeral. Some want a dove release, some want fireworks. Other clients have told us they want no service, no memorial and wish to be delivered to the crematorium in the back of a van to save their family funds which they then want them to spend on a family meal instead. You can see that you can choose to have anything but a “traditional” end of life. As bereavement planners we hope to educate everyone about what is on offer. Lots of people are beginning to understand that the traditional funeral is a thing of the past if they want it to be. There are many types of coffin to choose from – wooden, cardboard, banana leaves, wicker, willow – some you can even buy ahead and use as a fridge or house ornament! Shrouds are making a comeback and ecopods are available, especially for those who wish to have a natural burial.

Do I have to choose a family member to carry out my wishes?
No of course not, you can choose who you want, just like you choose your executors when you make a Will. You could contract with Lovingly Managed for us to carry out these instructions for you following your death and we then become your bereavement organisers. You can even pre-pay for our bereavement services but we won’t be paid until we do the work. Your money will be invested in YOUR name until then. Some people choose us to be their bereavement administrators because they either don’t have any family members or they don’t trust their family to carry out their wishes.

Is it only those who know they don’t have long to live who make End of Life plans?
Definitely not. Those who are in palliative care and those who know they are coming to the end of their lives are just more focused on pre death planning because they are aware that they will be passing on and leaving their loved ones and want to make life easier for those left behind. There is no reason whatsoever why someone who has no knowledge of the timing of their death cannot make such a plan, after all, we never really know when our time will come.

Can an End of Life plan be changed?
Of course. It can be edited/changed/amended at any time to fit in with changes in family circumstances, life choices or changing fashions!

Can making an End of Life plan be inheritance tax efficient?
Yes, it can. If you buy a pre-paid package from us, then tax savings can be made. The same is true for Long Term Care savings.

I’m not likely to die for another 30-40 years. What happens if I take out an End of Life package with Lovingly Managed and something happens which means the company can’t fulfil the contract?
Although this is highly unlikely to happen, it’s important to remember that you won’t have lost out financially. In order to pay for our End of Life plan package, you might take out some form of investment vehicle, either through your own independent financial adviser or we can arrange for an IFA to advise you. Instead of an investment vehicle, you could take out a life insurance policy which will have the same effect. This is in YOUR name but Lovingly Managed has first claim on the fund or policy in order to carry out your instructions when the time comes. If for any reason we are unable to fulfil our part of the contract, the money reverts to your estate and it just means that your family will be left to organise your funeral themselves. You will never be in the position where you have paid for a service that you don’t end up receiving. Any excess funds remaining in the fund once Lovingly Managed has fulfilled our obligations is of course returned to your estate.

Funerals

Do all funeral directors provide a “green funeral” option?
Funeral directors provide a polished and professional service at this sad time but not all of them automatically inform you that there is a green option, perhaps because they feel that you would not be thinking this way from what you have already told them or perhaps because there may not be many green burial grounds in your area. If you want to have a green funeral and your local funeral director does not appear to provide this service then information is available at http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk.

Do all funeral directors provide coffin alternatives to traditional wooden ones?
Most funeral directors do but if your funeral director does not offer you this choice, then do ask them as alternative/natural coffins are easily sourced.

Is Lovingly Managed a funeral director?
No, Lovingly Managed are funeral planners and bereavement administrators. We can co-ordinate funerals (a bit like a wedding planner but for funerals) and be the link person between the bereaved and the funeral director, acting in a way like a “surrogate son/daughter”, taking the lead in organising everything and doing all the running around tasks that members of the family or the executor usually has to do but perhaps are too upset or don’t have the time for. Essentially, our role is that of funeral organiser or funeral co-ordinator and we will undertake as much or as little as is required of us to help and assist the family at this time and do all the things that the chosen funeral director doesn’t.

Can members of Lovingly Managed register a death?
Yes they can. It is a common misconception that a member of the family has to undertake this stressful task. One of the criteria for those able to register deaths is “the person making arrangements with the funeral directors” and, of course, if Lovingly Managed has been contracted by the deceased prior to their death, or by the family following a death, to co-ordinate the funeral then they are this person.

Do Lovingly Managed co-ordinate green funerals?
Yes we do. Lovingly Managed have a partner relationship with Native Woodland (http://www.nativewoodland.co.uk) and can organise a green funeral for you, also referred to as eco funerals, natural burials or environmental burials. In some areas we can arrange to collect, store and deliver the deceased to the burial site on your behalf.

Is it correct that if you want a natural burial you cannot be embalmed?
Yes because of course the chemicals that are used in the embalming process are not environmentally friendly.

What are DIY funerals?
Arranging and conducting a funeral without employing a funeral director is something that only a very small minority of families undertake but they are able to do so, usually with advice. There is no law saying you have to use a funeral director but some elements of the process can be hard, for example collecting the deceased from a mortuary where they may have had a post mortem when family members are not familiar with such things. The funeral directors are the professionals; they are there to help you and offer great peace of mind and invaluable support at a difficult time. Having said that, there are many elements of a funeral which are relatively straight forward, for example transporting the coffin and doing the pall bearing, so some families, who have enough willing volunteers, employ the services of a funeral director to help with the more challenging tasks only.

Can I have a home burial?
Whilst burial on private land is a relatively straightforward matter, free of many of the restrictions and legal hurdles which might be imagined, it does need to be thought through carefully. The number of private land burials which take place each year in the UK is quite small and it is possibly for that reason that there are widely-held misconceptions, not only by members of the public but by funeral professionals as well. With regard to rules and regulations the following are imperative: a) you must have the consent of the owner of the freehold of the land; b) the freeholder should check that there are no restrictive covenants attached to the title deeds or registration of the property that prohibit burial; c) you must be able to satisfy the Environment Agency that the burial will not take place within certain distances of specific types of water; these are at least 10 metres from any ‘dry’ ditch or field drain, at least 30 metres from any spring or any running or standing water, at least 50 metres from any well, borehole or spring that supplies water for any use; d) there must be a minimum depth between the settled soil level and the top of the coffin or shroud; e) the person responsible for the burial must obtain a Certificate of Authority for burial from the Registrar of Births & Deaths (or in special circumstances from the Coroner) before the burial takes place; this is routinely issued at the time of the registration of the death; f) within 96 hours of the burial, the slip attached to the bottom of the Certificate for Burial or Cremation must be completed (commonly referred to as the green form), with the date and place of the burial, and returned to the Registrar of Births & Deaths; g) the owner (or owner’s agent) of the land on which the burial has taken place must prepare and keep a burial register in a safe place. Those are the essential regulations which must be followed.

What about planning permission for home burials?
Perhaps the one fact regarding private land burial which most surprises people at the outset is that, for a limited number of interments, planning permission is not required. The reason is simple: the presence of a very small number of burials would not constitute a ‘material change of use’ hence no such consent would be required. Logically what might be a “reasonable” number in rural farmland should exceed that in a suburban garden, but as no definitive ruling can be cited it would be wise to err on the side of caution and consider that more than two burials could encourage the planning authority to require the submission of an appropriate application. Strictly speaking there is no need, either, for an approach to the local authority with regard to the observance of distances from water. It is better to be sure on this point, though, by discussion with the local council’s Environmental Health department. There are no environmental implications from the burial of cremated ashes so there would be no need to contact the Environmental Health department in that event.

What about grave digging and grave depth?
Grave digging can be hard work! Hand digging is the preferred ‘green’ option, but a small mechanical digger will reduce the workload considerably provided that access to the chosen site can be provided easily and without damage to the local environment. Although the majority of professional grave diggers work for local authorities, there are freelance grave diggers throughout the UK should you wish to employ someone for the task. Grave preparation should include a preliminary excavation to ensure that standing water does not gather when it is first dug, and that the soil is not too sandy. The minimum depth for a grave as required by law should provide two feet from the top of the coffin (or shroud) to the normal ground level above. However, as a general rule, it is strongly recommended that the grave be prepared to provide at least one metre of soil below the coffin (or shroud), and at least one metre from the top of the coffin to the settled ground level after burial. Remember that an open grave can be hazardous, and should be adequately protected before the burial takes place. If the chosen plot is in an area which is crossed by a public footpath it may be advisable to apply for the temporary closure or diversion of the path under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to ensure that there is no risk to the general public while there is an open grave and that there is privacy at the time of the burial.

What are the consequences of a private land burial?
There may be far fewer regulations than might have been imagined, but it is advisable to give careful consideration to some of the possible consequences of private land burial. What about access to visit the grave should the property be sold in the future? It would be possible to create a right of access for grave visits by way of an easement, but such an arrangement may deter a purchaser. What effect would a burial or burials have on the property value? Over the years it has been argued by some that an adverse effect would be inevitable, but that would be difficult to prove in any particular case. What is clear is that some properties will be far better suited than others. One or two burials in a quiet favourite spot near a tree in a rural paddock are unlikely to have the same impact as a burial in a suburban back garden. Although planning permission is not required for a limited number of burials, some built memorials would attract the attention of the planning authority. This need not be a concern if you just intend to plant a tree. One final point with regard to people in authority, as private land burial is not a common event it is quite likely to attract attention and if you give your local police advance notice of the funeral they will not be wrong-footed into suspecting some improper act!

Where can I get a burial register?
Keeping a burial register does not mean that you have to purchase a special book from a legal stationers. A simple document will suffice, provided that it records the essential details of the deceased, and the date and place of interment with an accompanying plan showing the grave’s location. The Natural Death Centre can provide a sample form.

Should I make plans for my own funeral?
An increasing number of people in the UK are making plans for their own funeral. This may be a good idea for yourself, or for someone that you love.

What is a funeral plan?
The essential idea behind a funeral plan is that you set money aside which is then linked to your funeral wishes. Although some funeral plans are ‘packages’, i.e. a fixed set of items, several plan providers now enable you to create a bespoke funeral plan by selecting the specific options that you want.

Does it make sense for me to take out a pre-paid funeral plan?
Everyone’s personal and financial circumstances are different so what suits one person won’t necessarily suit another. But the reasons people often cite for taking out a plan include: it makes their family aware of what they want to happen at their funerals and puts some finance in place to make it happen; it gives peace of mind; it ring-fences some funds which might otherwise be used to pay for care fees. You may have another reason – or it may be that a funeral plan is not the solution for you.

What do I get for my money?
In return for paying for a funeral plan in advance, your plan provider will make certain guarantees. Many, for example, guarantee that, no matter when you die, the amount that you have paid for the funeral director’s charges will be covered in full. On the other hand, the amount that has been set aside in your funeral plan for the disbursements, i.e. the monies paid to third parties: crematoria, doctors, ministers, etc, although it will probably increase in value annually, these increases are normally linked to the Retail Price Index. So if the actual costs of these items increase at a greater rate, there will be a balance payable at the time of the funeral.

What happens to the money that I pay for a funeral plan?
By law, your money (less any administrative and commission charges) has to be put into one of two forms of investment: a whole of life insurance policy, or a trust fund. Most funeral planning companies use a trust fund.

The agent (usually a funeral director) who sells you your plan is not allowed to have control over your funds, although they can be represented on the board of trustees that administer the trust fund. This measure was introduced to ensure that unscrupulous funeral directors (and there have been some) do not use funeral planning monies as normal working capital for their businesses, hence putting those funds at great risk of being lost.

How do trustees ensure that enough money is available to pay for all the funerals of plan holders?
Given what has been discovered about the banking sector over the past couple of years, perhaps all of us should pay more attention to what happens to money that we hand over to third parties to be ‘looked after’.

The funds held in trusts are invested with a view to achieving a return that is at least enough to be able to pay out the agreed amounts on all the plans at the time that they mature (i.e. upon the death of the planholders). Every third year, by law, each trust is required to engage the services of an actuary to ensure that the size of the funds that they hold is sufficient to meet this requirement. If they’re not, then the trustees are required to take whatever remedial action is necessary to restore the funds to the level required.

Trust funds can also be in surplus, i.e. have more funds in investments and cash than are required to meet their commitments. Some trusts have been set up in such a way as to allow these ‘surpluses’ to be distributed as, for example, ‘bonuses’ to agents or funeral planning company directors. Whilst this is very popular with the beneficiaries, and is not illegal if allowed by the trust deed, this makes it more likely that the trust fund has a shortfall in a later year. You might want to ask about what happens to ‘surpluses’ when making your choice of funeral planning company. You might also want to ask about fund investment strategies – if environmental or ethical issues are important to you, you might want to determine whether these considerations are taken into account by the trustees when deciding how to invest funds.

Can Lovingly Managed provide a Funeral Plan?
Yes, Lovingly Managed can provide you with information from all the major providers and help you to choose the one which suits you best.

What help can Lovingly Managed provide to my family to give me peace of mind?
By making an End of Life plan (link to that part of site) with Lovingly Managed, whether you contract them to carry out your instructions or not, you will have the knowledge that your wishes are known to your family and all the practical information they will need to provide you with the funeral you want and assist them in obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration to your estate is included in that document. Even if you have not contracted Lovingly Managed to carry out your instructions, your family or executor may delegate all or some of those tasks to us and we will carry them out as per our instructions and will do as little or as much as is required to assist them. We have experience in this area and, of course, are not so emotionally attached. Lovingly Managed can be a “one-stop-shop” and, in this regard, our service is unique. We provide advice, guidance and a comprehensive and practical End of Life plan to enable you to plan for your death, provide as much assistance as is required to organise your funeral, provide as much or as little post-death help to your family as they require or you have contracted us to carry out and can help with the administration of your estate.

What are state-funded funerals?
They are usually for those who cannot afford to pay for a funeral for some reason or another. The person burying the body (not necessarily a family member) has the right to apply to the Social Fund for a payment made from the state to give the deceased a decent burial or cremation. They are sometimes called Social Fund funerals and used to be called pauper funerals many years ago. Lovingly Managed can of course co-ordinate such funerals if required.

Does Lovingly Managed arrange pet funerals and pet cremations?
Yes, they can do so if required.