We might all be living longer but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will remain fit physically or mentally to deal with our own affairs.
If we lose capacity (this can be slowly over time or suddenly if for example we suffer from a stroke) it can result in real complications for our families who can’t access our bank accounts, pay our bills, sell our property etc. with a mess very rapidly accumulating at what will inevitably be a difficult time for them anyway.
Without some mechanism in place to give them authority to help they may need to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy before they can do so. The additional stress is accompanied by further delay and cost.
So, whilst we do have capacity and before it is too late and even though we don’t need help yet we should consider creating a lasting power of attorney which allows someone to deal with our affairs in the event that we lose mental capacity.
Creating a lasting power of attorney also means that you get to choose who will deal with your affairs rather than the Court deciding. This is particularly important if there are any frictions in the family or you prefer a friend or someone other than a family member to help you. A lasting power of attorney cannot be used unless it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. This has the reassuring effect of "policing" the exercise of powers.
There are two types of Lasting Power, one dealing with financial matters and the other with your health and welfare. Neither is effective unless registered and the health and welfare type Power can only be acted upon after you have lost mental capacity.
It's never too soon to plan for your own security and to enable someone to help you when the time comes but it is a real risk that you can leave it too late.
RMNJ Solicitors offer a free and no obligation advice about making your lasting powers of attorney and a fixed price drafting and registration service.
RMNJ are always glad to discuss any questions you have without obligation and at first instance entirely free of charge.