When do I need a Power of Attorney?
It is well recognised that along with rising life expectancy there unfortunately has been an increase in the number of people who suffer from progressive conditions such a dementia. Many people have a family member with dementia and know how distressing that condition can be.
A Power of Attorney can provide some peace of mind, by allowing you to decide who you would like to look after your affairs should you become incapable due to mental illness or injury other than by reason of dementia, stroke or head injury or other cause. When a Power of Attorney has been granted, you will be reassured that a person of your choice is able to deal with your financial matters, or welfare matters or a combination of both should you become incapable to manage your own affairs.
A Power of Attorney must be put in place while you are still mentally fit and able to do so. Your Attorney can be your spouse or a friend, Solicitor, an Accountant etc. You can appoint one or more people to be your Attorney.
If Power of Attorney is not granted whilst you are capable, the alternative of a Guardianship Application may be required, once you lose capacity to make sure there is proper authority to make decisions on your finance and property and welfare. The grant and administration of a Guardianship Application may involve significant legal expense, which will come out of your estate and can be avoided if a Power of Attorney is completed in advance.