Powers Of Attorney
As well as getting a Will drawn up, we also strongly recommend you get Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
There may come a time in your life when you are no longer able to administer your financial affairs effectively due to old age, dementia or other serious illness, or you may just need a hand in dealing with these.
Also, it is possible you may become mentally unable to take medical or other health and welfare decisions.
You can prepare for these scenario’s by putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney in favour of a family member or close friend, or in some cases a professional – although we feel it is better if you can find someone close to you to act. It will give you the peace of mind knowing that someone you trust has control over decisions you want to be made on your behalf if you lose capacity to make them yourself.
If you run your own business it is very important that you appoint an attorney to deal with the financial side, should you not be able to do so yourself. This could be a business partner or professional adviser.
It is also possible to appoint an attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare, in circumstances where you lack the mental capacity to make decisions yourself.
Once you have lost mental capacity it is too late for you to make a power of attorney, which is why it is prudent to do so whilst you are still healthy. These are not just for older people, a young person may lose capacity through accident or illness too.
The Court of Protection can appoint a ‘deputy’ for someone who lacks mental capacity, if there is no power of attorney in place. This process is drawn out however so we recommend putting in place Lasting Powers of attorney to avoid stress and heartache ( and cost) to you and your family
rhw can help you with:
- Lasting powers of attorney (for finances or welfare)
- Court of Protection applications fpr Deputy’s Orders or other applications to the Court if needed
Still not Sure? Read this Brief Guide
LPAs are often associated with the elderly, however, LPAs are relevant to everyone. Why? Here are a few points to consider:
- While the risk of losing capacity may seem greater when you are older, incapacity can strike at any time, for example, as a result of a serious accident or sudden illness.
- Do you have joint accounts with your partner or another person? If you lose capacity, your bank may freeze these accounts without sight of a valid LPA. How would the co-account holder be able to pay the bills and other costs if these accounts could not be accessed?
- Do you have a business? What would happen if you were abroad or involved in an accident when an important action needed to be taken? LPAs can be used to appoint your business associates to deal with business matters; they are not only for your personal affairs.
- Do you live abroad or travel a lot? If so, it might be appropriate to appoint an Attorney to deal with your assets in this country, so that steps can be taken in your absence (with your consent).
- We live in an ageing society and, with the risk of developing mental illnesses such as dementia, it is important to consider what would happen to your affairs if you were to develop such a disease. It is less stressful and upsetting to make these decisions at a time when you are fit and well, rather than when the need of an LPA becomes urgent.
Contact rhw’s Private Client team (Edward Pennington or Heather Cutler) on 01483 302000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org