Being Prepared for Life’s Troubles with a Power of Attorney
At some point in our lives we will almost certainly need someone reliable to call on, when life gets tough. This may be anything from support during an illness or help in the home. At Smith Partnership we understand when it comes to needing help with financial affairs, you may need to engage with a number of organisations such as banks and insurance or pension companies.
So, imagine there comes a day when you are not well enough to deal with your own financial affairs. This may be as a result of a temporary spell in hospital or not being able to make decisions as a result of an illness.
In these circumstances, if you are not able to deal with matters yourself, and you have not legally appointed someone to act on your behalf, with a Lasting Power of Attorney, then unfortunately financial matters can grind to a halt.
So what is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a very useful, practical and powerful document whereby you can appoint a person or persons of your choice to step in and act for you. The document is to be signed by you and the person or persons you appoint.
At Smith Partnership we would always advise people to not leave it too late to put a Power of Attorney in place, when planning ahead.
If you are not mentally capable of understanding the significance of the Power of Attorney, then you will not be able to legally appoint anyone. In these circumstances the only course of action is for someone to apply to the Court of Protection and ask the Court to appoint someone. This is a costly and onerous task for your loved ones.
Is there a Power of Attorney for health matters too?
Yes, there is a separate Lasting Power of Attorney that can be put in place that allows your chosen person, or persons, to make decisions about your health and welfare. This document includes decisions involving the medical profession making decisions regarding life sustaining treatment.
If you would like to find out more please contact a member of the Wills and Probate Law team at Smith Partnership in Burton on 0330 123 1229.
Nick is Solicitor in the Wills and Probate department. Nick is a Solicitor qualified for more than 25 years. He specialises in Wills, Administration of Estates, Tax Planning and Elderly client related matters. Contact Nick by email nick.green@ smithpartnership.co.uk.