Have you ever given any thought to who would look after your financial affairs if you lost mental capacity whether through old age, illness (such as Alzheimer’s Disease) or even an accident? No? Have you ever given any thought to who would look after your financial affairs if you lost mental capacity whether through old age, illness (such as Alzheimer’s Disease) or even an accident? No? Well read on!
The truth is that if you did lose mental capacity no-one, including you, would have the legal authority to manage your money or property. At that stage you may well be past caring, but the immediate consequences for your nearest and dearest may be devastating; particularly if they are dependant upon you or the household finances are dealt with through an account in your sole name. The implications could be even wider if you have a business because it will inevitably suffer if there is no-one able to take over the reins. In the longer term, decisions relating to the funding of your care may have to be taken.
You can act now to resolve this problem by creating an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). An EPA is a legal document which hands over to one or more people, known as Attorneys, the power to manage your financial affairs. It’s is an extremely powerful document and it is therefore vitally important that you appoint Attorneys that you trust implicitly. If the worst happens and you become mentally incapable of managing your own financial affairs then, providing they register the EPA with the Court of Protection, they will have the authority to deal with your affairs on your behalf.
If you do not have the benefit of an EPA and you do lose mental capacity, there is a longer, more complicated and much more expensive procedure that your family will be forced to take through the Court of Protection for a receiver to be appointed.
For peace of mind now in case you lose your mind later, contact a member of our Private Client team to discuss the suitability of an EPA for your particular circumstances. Toni Sinclair [email protected] Partner and head of Slee Blackwell’s Wills, Trusts and Probate Department. www.sleeblackwell.co.uk