Whilst making a Will ensures that your wishes are carried out following your death, what happens if, due to illness or an accident, you are unable to deal with your finances, such as paying bills or arranging property repairs?
Who would make decisions about your health and welfare, decide where you should live or what medical care you should receive if you lose mental capacity? It is a common misconception to think that your next of kin can deal with such matters for you, but they have no authority to manage your assets or make decisions about your health and welfare on your behalf. This can be problematic and cause additional stress at an already difficult time.
If you lose mental capacity, an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy would need to be made. This can be both costly and time-consuming, adding to the stress you and your family or friends may already be feeling. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you are well, is a simple step you can take to ensure that your matters can be dealt with should this situation arise.
Many people worry that having a Lasting Power of Attorney prepared will stop them from being in control, but a Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used by your Attorneys until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This can be done by you while you’re still capable or by your Attorney at any time before they need to use it. However, you retain control of your finances if your Attorneys assume that you are capable of dealing with them unless it is established that you cannot do so. When they do act for you, Attorneys have to act in your best interest.