At Illuminate Legal, Rebecca is receiving an increasing number of enquiries regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney. These are documents that enable us to officially appoint someone to look after our personal affairs if we become mentally (or physically) incapable of managing them for ourselves.
Often, people worry who will help them with their finances if their spouse dies. Many marriages have one party in charge of the ‘money’. If that spouse dies first, the survivor can feel a little at sea with managing monies for the first time for many years. This is completely understandable. An attorney for the survivor can assist if they have put one in place or choose to do so at that stage as, along with the grief for the loss of a spouse, everything else becomes a little too much to handle. The attorney does not have to come in and ‘take over’ however if the survivor is more than capable of handling matters; a Lasting Power of Attorney is a useful safeguard.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are valuable ‘just in case’ documents in this world where, sadly, many of us will suffer from significant mental deterioration as we age or suffer from dementia. If we become mentally incapable due to stroke, dementia and other mental health illnesses, it is then too late to appoint someone to deal with our affairs. If however we have already put someone (often people choose their spouse, children or a close friend or advisor) in place to handle our property and/or health matters for us, we have some peace of mind that someone of our choosing and who we trust will be able to look after our matters. The bills will be paid; the investments will be managed; any specific health wishes we had will be communicated to our doctors.
We also help clients put powers of attorney in place if they are likely to be away from home for some time; they are not just to be used if someone loses mental capacity. They can also be used if someone directs their attorney to act, even whilst they retain capacity but it is more practical or convenient for their attorney to act on their behalf.
Many clients prepare Wills. We know that, at some stage, these will definitely be used. We see it as ‘money well spent’. We hope that we won’t suffer from mental deterioration. We are busy living and some worry that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney will ‘jinx’ their health to lead to mental decline. When we prepare these documents, we hope that they won’t need to be used but if they are, unlike a Will, our attorneys can help us in our own lifetimes and ensure that our wishes are followed.
If you would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact Rebecca Reid on the details below.
Rebecca Reid, Illuminate Legal Limited, Odiham, Hampshire