Most of us take for granted that we have the ability to manage our affairs – whether you deal with your finances yourself or rely on your partner to do so. But have you considered what you would do if you found yourself suddenly unable to do so – or left without the support of the person who usually sorts things out on your behalf?
Sometimes a person’s ability to handle administrative issues decreases as they get older, or perhaps illness, disability or an accident makes it difficult for them to make their own decisions. Since you can’t know what lies in your future, it makes sense to take precautions for the future to protect your assets and help your family deal with any legal issues in case you are unable to do so.
Power of attorney assigns legal authority to a nominated representative to enable them to handle your financial affairs on your behalf, according to your instructions. Just as you make provisions for your loved ones in your will, arranging power of attorney means that your wishes are carried out if you are incapacitated in the future.
Arranging lasting power of attorney:
To assign power of attorney to a trusted representative or family member you will need to meet with your solicitor and provide them with the following details:
- Who you would like to handle your legal affairs if you are unable to (for example: a family member, friend, colleague, or your solicitor)
- Whether you have already made a will
- Details of your assets, income, debts and liabilities
- How you would like your affairs and property to be handled
- Whether you have an existing condition or illness that may affect your ability to handle your own finances in the future
To arrange lasting power of attorney you must be fully cognisant of the implications of the arrangement, and the person you assign to handle your affairs must be at least 18 years of age. You may appoint more than one attorney to handle different aspects of your affairs if you wish, for example: one person to deal with your health and welfare, and one to handle property and financial issues.
Your first port of call should be your family solicitor who will be able to provide you with guidance and advice according to your circumstances, and ensure that lasting power of attorney is properly arranged and registered. Your solicitor can also create or update your will, negotiate equity-release to utilise capital tied up in property and help you to plan financial arrangements for long-term care.
Whether you’re approaching retirement or simply want to plan ahead, it’s always better to get your finances in order sooner rather than later. Updating or drawing up a will, making probate arrangements, and resolving any property issues will not only put your mind at ease for the future, but ensure that your family are provided for and your wishes are met should the worst happen.
To speak to the experienced family law team at Frances Lindsay & Co visit www.franceslindsay.co.uk or call us on 01628 634667. We offer fixed-fee legal services on property and conveyancing, divorce and separation, wills and probate, and lasting power of attorney arrangements, providing expert legal assistance across the Thames Valley, including Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, High Wycombe Henley, Maidenhead Marlow and Windsor. We also have meeting rooms in London for convenience. Get in touch to see how we can help you to plan for your future.Tags: lasting power of attorney, making a will Thames valley, power of attorney Windsor, wills an probate maidenhead, wills and probate Beaconsfield