If you would like to make a Power of Attorney then give us a call on 0333 888 0404 or email [email protected]
One of the common features of being a lawyer is the moment when you meet someone and having found out what you do, they start the conversation with, “So, I read on the internet that …” or, “Someone I met at a party told me that …” There are so many “urban myths” about the law in circulation and it is our job to cut through the mystery and present the legal facts.
Take Lasting Powers of Attorney as an example. They have been in the news a lot recently, but there is still a feeling that these documents are only required once you are elderly and have some kind of dementia. Unfortunately, if you only think about a Power of Attorney at that point, there is every chance it is already too late!
There are a multitude of reasons why everyone should have an LPA in place, regardless of age or health. Do you get in a car most days? If you have an accident and end up in hospital, do you want to know that someone has the authority to access your bank account to pay your mortgage and other essential bills? Would you want some to have authority to pay for your ongoing care if you fall ill?
Why else would you need a Power of Attorney? Are you married? Urban myth SPOILER alert coming up here … Just because you are married to someone, you have absolutely no automatic rights whatsoever to deal with their assets in the event that they lose their mental capacity. So, if your spouse were to suffer some unfortunate accident or sudden illness which temporarily or permanently affects their capacity to manage their own financial affairs, you could not go to their bank and ask for funds to be released from their account. Nor could you sell a jointly owned property. To do all of this would require a valid, registered LPA or a Deputyship order from the Court of Protection.
While you’re at it, think about the other people that you have a responsibility for. Do you have young children? Do you own a business which employs other people?
Many of us have responsibilities for someone else in one way or another. An LPA is one of the essential tools to help with those responsibilities, and one that everyone should have in their kit.