Putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in Place

By Sarah Browne

Principal Associate

Many people have Wills in place to make things easier for their relatives in the event of their death, and to ensure their wishes are followed in relation to their assets. Far fewer consider what would happen if they were incapacitated during their lifetime, as a result of illness, and what their relatives could do in those circumstances.

If a person is unwell in hospital for a period, or if they lose capacity from illness such as dementia, it can be difficult for their relatives to look after their affairs for them. Without the appropriate documentation banks won’t give any information to relatives or let the next of kin access bank accounts to pay ongoing bills. This is likely to cause stress and upset for relatives at an already difficult time.

We would advise our clients to have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place so they can choose who can deal with their affairs in the event that they were unable to do so themselves.

Having a Lasting Power of Attorney means that you can make decisions now regarding who you would like to speak for you and act on your behalf in such circumstances and ensure you have made matters as straightforward for your family as possible.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  1. Property & Finances: A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finances enables you to choose the person or people who could deal with your assets if required. This would enable your chosen attorneys to access your bank accounts to pay your bills, deal with your investments or sell your house if necessary. It would also enable your attorneys simply to undertake everyday activities such as speaking to utility companies on your behalf.
  2. Health & Welfare: In the event that you didn’t have the capacity to make your own decisions, a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare would give your chosen attorneys the authority to decide what medical treatment or care you should receive. For example, they could make decisions as to whether life-sustaining medical treatment should continue or speak for you as to whether you should remain in your own home or go into a care setting. 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is an insurance policy which we would recommend.

For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact us on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.