No one can predict the future.
We cannot tell if dementia will creep up, or if we will suffer a stroke, or be in an accident which will leave us unfit mentally or physically to look after our own affairs.
Have you considered what would happen if you could no longer manage your financial affairs yourself, or make other important decisions concerning your health and welfare?
Many people believe that their next of kin or another close relative or friend would simply be able to pick up the reins on their behalf. However, that would not automatically be the case, unless they had already set up a power of attorney.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone else to look after your affairs for you if you’re unable to. This can be any person, again someone that you trust – who will act on your behalf, such as a spouse, partner, relative or friend.
The document will grant powers to your attorney in relation to both your health and welfare affairs as well as your property and financial affairs. The decisions could be about day-to-day things such as what to wear or when to pay a bill‚ or they could be more important decisions such as where you should live or whether you should have a certain type of medical treatment.
You can set this up so that the powers will kick in either i) if you lose capacity and this is confirmed by a doctor or ii) by a written statement signed by you authorising your attorney to act on your behalf; or both.
Too many people delay arranging a power of attorney until they’re older or it’s too late. But it’s vital not to wait until you start having problems with your mental capacity, as once that happens, you’re no longer allowed to apply for one.
There is also the risk that you might need an attorney to act for you while you’re younger, such as if you were to have a bad accident or be unfortunate enough to be in hospital for an extended period of time.
Talk to Thompsons
At Thompsons we have a solicitor-led team dedicated to help you create the right POA suitable for your needs. We will guide and advise you ensuring that everything is looked after should the worst happen.
In some circumstances, a person may no longer be capable of appointing a power of attorney – in those situations, our team of Solicitors can advise on other available measures to assist, including guardianships.
Call 0800 0891 331 to create a power of attorney to ensure everything is taken care of when you’re no longer able to do so.