Powers of Attorney: Do I really need one?

People are now living longer than they ever have before, causing a vast increase in individuals being unable to deal with their own affairs due to diminished mental capacity. As such, it is becoming more common for people to make a Power of Attorney at the same time as they make a Will.  It is essential that should you lose the capacity to deal with your own matters, perhaps because of dementia, that you have arrangements in place to ensure that your nominated relatives or friends are appointed to look after your needs.

If you have not made your own arrangements by having a Power of Attorney in place then, if you are fortunate, a close member of your family will apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy, but this is a much more cumbersome and expensive exercise than giving someone Power of Attorney.  If any family members are unable to step forward, the Local Authority in your area could apply, which gives them total control over your finances.

Making a Power of Attorney is relatively straightforward if using an experienced solicitor to assist you.  You are able to decide who you want to deal with your money and property and also who you want to deal with your own personal welfare.  You can assign one or more people and can decide whether they need to act on all matters collectively or whether some issues could be dealt with by just one of your appointed Attorneys.  You can appoint substitute Attorneys in case someone is unable or unwilling to take up the role.

Most importantly, you can give written guidance or instructions to your Attorneys.  This is most important when dealing with your personal welfare.  You may want to give directions to your Attorneys as to where you should live should you be unable to continue independently in your own home, what type of care you would like and, perhaps most importantly, you can give direction as to end of life care.  You can make certain your Attorneys know what you would want to happen in certain scenarios so that they can give the information, with legal force, to any doctors or health care specialists.
      
Unfortunately, far too many people leave it too late to deal with these essential documents, necessitating their loved ones to approach the Court of Protection. The right solicitor can help you avoid all the unnecessary expenditure, doubt and distress.
 
At Gelbergs, we have substantial experience of dealing with Powers of Attorney and will explain all aspects of this quite complicated area to you in straightforward terms to make the whole exercise as simple and straightforward as possible. We are happy to arrange a home visit within the North and East London areas if you cannot get to our office.

For more information or to book an appointment to see our Wills and Power of Attorney Solicitors, please visit our website www.gelbergs.co.uk or contact us on 0207 226 0570or by email enquiries@gelbergs.co.uk.

Gelbergs have kindly offered a 15% discount on the firm’s fees for any legal matter if you let them know that you heard about them via Bluebird Care.

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