Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

Lets assume you have £100K in a sole bank account, and you’re struck with an illness or accident that leaves you incapacitated. Your close friends, family members and even your spouse do not have automatic authority to make financial decisions on your behalf.

I’ve seen a scenario where someone who’d suffered a stroke needed to be placed in a care home, but had no letters of authority for anyone to act on their behalf. So bills went unpaid and they couldn’t use any of his money to look after him. In this event your assets are effectively frozen.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more individuals to act on your behalf should you ever find yourself in this position. You can appoint someone to act for your health, welfare, property and financial affairs. You need to register this with the Office of the Public Guardian at a cost of £82. ( there are discounts available for low income earners) Given the events of the last 12 months its worth considering what your situation would look like if you found yourself in this situation. And for those with ageing family members, it’s worth checking what provisions they have in place.

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