7th May 2019

6 Reasons Why You Should Have a Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney grants someone else permission to make decisions about your finances and property, as well as your health and personal welfare. It is vitally important that you have a Power of Attorney in place. Here are six reasons why you should have one…

1. Anything can happen to you at any time

It is often thought that having a Power of Attorney is only necessary if you are retired, elderly or have a long-term illness. This is not the case. The reality is that you cannot predict what may happen in the future, so it is very much a case of the earlier, the better. Even if you are in the prime of your youth or have never experienced any health problems at all, a Power of Attorney is an important safeguard that you may have to rely on when you least expect. An example that we give to our clients is that if you were to end up in a hospital, doctors would not be obliged to give out any information about the condition of your health to anyone other than an appointed Attorney. At Blackadders we recommend to our clients that anyone aged 30 years or over should have a Power of Attorney.

2. A WILL is NOT a Power of Attorney

A common misconception is that having a Will means that you do not need a Power of Attorney. The reality is that having a Will only dictates how your estate will be dealt with upon your death. It has no bearing on critical welfare and financial decisions that would require to be made during your life if you were unable to make them yourself. A Power of Attorney gives powers to those that you trust to make welfare and financial decisions on your behalf.

3. It saves disagreements and financial issues

If you have a Power of Attorney, your wishes will be clear. There will be no dubiety and your family and friends will be able to do as you would wish. This means that there is no room for argument or disagreement amongst family members or friends as to who should act on your behalf. In addition to this, if spouses do not have joint bank accounts and one spouse loses capacity, having a Power of Attorney in place will allow the other spouse to access their finances to continue to pay bills and other living costs.

4. A Power of Attorney saves time and money

If you are married or in a civil partnership, you might assume that your spouse would automatically be able to deal with your finances and make decisions regarding your health. This is not the case. If you do not grant a Power of Attorney while you still have the capacity to do so, a court order is required to give someone the authority to act on your behalf. This is called the Guardianship process. The cost of applying to have a guardian appointed is in the thousands and can take up to 12 months or even longer.

5. The power is in your hands

One of the most important reasons to have a Power of Attorney is that it means YOU DECIDE who your Attorney(s) should be. Without a Power of Attorney, THE COURT DECIDES who is suitable to be your guardian.

6. It makes things easier for your loved ones

As I have discussed, your family or friends would have to apply to the court to have a guardian appointed to act on your behalf. In the event that you did lose capacity, lengthy and costly court procedure would likely be a very distressing and emotional experience for your family to go through. Having a Power of Attorney in place would make it much easier for your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf in the way that you would want.

If you require any further information with regards to a Power of Attorney, or to make an appointment, please contact the Blackadders Private Client Team.

Andrew Shaw, Trainee Solicitor
Private Client
Blackadders LLP
@LawAndrewJS

www.blackadders.co.uk

 

 

 

The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.

Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.

Copyright

Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.

Privacy Statement

Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.

© Blackadders LLP 2011

Members of the Law Society of Scotland. Authorised to conduct Investment Business under the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 by the Financial Services Authority.

Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.

Back to You & Your Family News