None of us knows what the future holds.
Recently Kate Garraway, of ITV Good Morning Britain, has given publicity to the terrible experiences she has had while her husband was in a coma. She was unable to access his bank accounts and deal with any of his finances. He had not made a power of attorney.
I meet many people who are unaware that even though they are married (or in a civil partnership) if one of them should, for whatever reason, lose capacity, the other has no legal right to act on their behalf.
Did you know that your bank may freeze your joint bank account if one of you lost capacity? You would not be able to access any funds to pay bills (eg. for care services provided by Right at Home) nor could you deal with tax issues, pensions, DWP, investments or utility providers.
Did you know that, if you or your joint owner lost capacity and needed to sell your home, you would not be able to do so unless an attorney had been appointed?
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney should give you, and your family, peace of mind. You will appoint attorneys whom you trust completely.
I understand how easy it is to put off decisions about a future situation which you hope will never happen. My message is that you must not leave it until it is too late. You can only make a Power of Attorney whilst you have capacity.
There are two, separate, Lasting Powers of Attorney. Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare.
Whilst you still have capacity, you might find it helpful to give your attorneys instructions to use your Finance deed if you were ill, or in hospital.
If, later on, you lost capacity, the Finance deed is ready to be used immediately. This can be vital if care services (such as Right at Home) or nursing home fees need to be paid.
If you were to speak to just one person who, without a Power of Attorney had applied to the Court of Protection, you would definitely wish to spare your family the delay and expense of such proceedings.
The Health (or Personal Care) deed can only be used if you cannot give instructions for yourself. Your attorneys will have legal authority when dealing with your GP, hospitals, nursing homes and Social Services. This can be very reassuring for you.
For more information contact a specialist :
Mrs Helen Sweeney LL.B, Premier Powers of Attorney
Telephone: 01943 600526 Mobile: 07813202233 Email: [email protected] Website: www.premierpowersofattorney.com