Spare a moment to think the unthinkable
Life’s good. You’re surrounded by those you love and you have assets not just for a comfortable lifestyle, but also enough to pass on to another generation. Then, suddenly, an accident or an illness such as stroke or dementia leaves you unable to make your own informed decisions ─ not just for now, but maybe forever.
An awful thought. But of course your loved ones will step in?
Actually, no they can’t. They would have to apply to the Court to appoint what it sees as a suitable ‘deputy’. It may be one or more of your loved ones, or it could be an official you may not even know.
And, just in everyone’s hour of greatest stress, the Court costs and legal costs for
making the appointment can easily run to well over a thousand pounds.
Not only that, but this whole process can take up to a year. During that time your bank accounts and other funds will be frozen, with no transactions allowed apart from the possible continuation of Direct Debits. How would your loved ones manage without their usual access to your income or capital?
Register Lasting Powers of Attorney. And your trusted others will never have to face any of this
A small amount of your time now will prove in the future that, while you still had capacity, you nominated trusted people to take over your vital decision-making.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney you may want to consider
For your property and financial affairs
This allows your trusted other(s) to check balances and pay bills on your behalf, manage pension and investments and claim any social benefits you may be due. Your chosen representative(s) will also be empowered to sell your home and other assets in accordance with your wishes or in your best interests.
For your health and welfare
If you lose capacity then those you’ve nominated will be able to decide on your behalf about your future medical care ─ whether a care home is appropriate, for example ─ and ultimately to carry out your wishes with regard to issues like continuation of life-sustaining treatment.
With Lasting Power of Attorney in place, peace of mind comes free
When the formalities are done, that’s that. You can then put those uncomfortable thoughts behind you and concentrate your energy on the fun side of life, knowing you’re covered.