An illness, or an accident leading to mental incapacity, can take away your ability to make everyday decisions about your finances and welfare.
Since the introduction of the mental health act in 2014, if you lose mental capacity, through an accident or ill health, NONE of your relatives can make decisions for you, as they have not been ‘authorised’ to do so. The only way they can act, is if you have made Lasting Powers of Attorneys and they have been registered with the Court of Protection. As part of this legislation, did you know all personal AND joint bank accounts are frozen indefinatly.
The costs implications of retrospectively obtaining authority, to act for a person who has lost mental capacity, from the Court of Protection, are significantly greater and typical timescales are a minimum of nine months. During which time, all financial and heath decisions are made by the Court of Protection for the person who has lost mental capacity.
Powers of Attorney means that those decisions will be made by someone who knows you well and has your best interests at heart. Once you have lost mental capacity, it’s too late to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. Without them, those decisions may be made by the Courts.
Growing older, loss of mobility, illness or injury can make it difficult or impossible to manage your affairs. This can become stressful if bills go unpaid or you are unable to manage your personal affairs and welfare.
By creating a Power of Attorney in advance, ensures that if the worst were to happen, you can rest assured that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands.
Having someone you know and trust and more importantly understands you, to manage your affairs, is far more preferable than a Court official.
In practical terms, that would mean that that if you are incapacitated, your chosen family member or friend could deal with your bank, solicitor, Estate agent and government agencies, making sure your affairs are kept in order.
We all like to think that we will never need this kind of planning. The truth is that the vast majority of people would benefit from having a Power of Attorney in place. If the unthinkable happens, you can be confident that someone you trust is managing your finances and other affairs. Without planning for this, you may end up incurring the costs and disorientation of a Court appointed official to tend to your financial wellbeing.