News & Updates

Our blogs keep you up to date with legal issues that may affect you and your family, along with the latest developments from April King.

LPA

Why do I need a Power of Attorney?

We often hear, ‘But I’m not ill! Why do I need a Power of Attorney?’ but this is a common misconception that can have serious consequences if you suddenly become unwell or need extra help. A Power of Attorney is all about planning in advance.

If you were to become unwell physically or mentally and without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, your family, including your spouse/partner, would have no legal authority to make your voice heard, which can cause significant distress and upset, something we hear happen all too often.

We associate losing mental capacity with old age, but in fact, this can affect anybody at any point during their life. For example, did you know:

  • One in four strokes in the UK happens in people under the age of 65 (Stroke Association)
  • An estimated 42,000 people under the age of 65 in the UK have dementia
  • Accidents can impact anybody at any time, rendering individuals unable to manage their own affairs.

Many people assume that if they lose mental capacity, their partner or next of kin will automatically be able to take over handling their finances and make decisions for them, but this is not the case. Banks may even freeze joint accounts.

We find that children and spouses can have great difficulty down the line when trying to deal with financial and health organisations; even having access to documentation or being able to speak on your behalf to a third party can be stressful and challenging without the legal authority of a Power of Attorney.

You only need to make these documents once in your lifetime, but timing is crucial. The documents must be completed while you’re mentally well.

The Finance Power of Attorney enables your trusted attorneys to manage your financial matters, including bills, pensions, and property. The Health Power of Attorney grants them the legal authority to enforce your wishes around both major and day-to-day healthcare decisions.

Keeping You in Control

We can explain the legal safeguards that ensure your attorneys only act how and when you would like them to or having been medically assessed as unable to make decisions for yourself. After all, your attorneys are legally bound to act as if they were you and only make decisions in your best interests.

Next Steps

For further information on Power of Attorney and our other bespoke estate planning services, request our complimentary, no-obligation and jargon-free guide here or call us on 0800 788 0500.