The law allows you to make decisions until the day you die, provided the decisions are lawful, of course. Whilst you have capacity you can give consent for others to make decisions on your behalf. But what happens if through accident, injury or illness you cannot give consent anymore? Who will make your decisions then? The common misconception is that it will be your Next of Kin, but this is not what the law allows, unless you have nominated them on a Lasting Power of Attorney and that document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, part of the ministry of Justice.
There is a safety net in place, the local county council will take up the responsibility for your Health and Welfare and Property and Finance Decisions if you cannot.
If you would prefer your family or friends to make these decisions you can only do so with a registered Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
7 Reasons to have a Lasting Power of Attorney.
You choose who makes decisions for you if you are incapable of making them yourself.
Your Will is not enough, it can only be actioned on death, not if something happens beforehand.
If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney and need it, you cannot get one retrospectively, instead you would have to apply for a deputyship order through the courts that is not only restrictive and time consuming but can cost in excess of £7000 with additional annual running costs.
Your next of Kin cannot make decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself, without being nominated on a Lasting Power of Attorney, even if they are your Spouse, Partner or children.
Your bank, financial advisor, pension company, Department of Works and Pensions, HMRC, telephone provider, Internet provider, council tax, gas, electric, water provider are all amongst the organisations that would demand to see a Lasting Power of Attorney before dealing with a 3rd party, if you lost capacity.
Every 90 Seconds someone is admitted into A and E in the UK with an acquired brain injury.
If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney and need it, the Court of Protection are likely to appoint someone from outside your family group to manage your affairs.
More than 80% of the British Public believe their Next of Kin can make decisions for them, if they cannot. This is simply not true. Even if you have been married over 50 years or are the child of a sickly parent.
A joint bank account will still be able to be accessed without a Lasting Power of Attorney of the other person is deemed incapacitated, again this is not true. In a joint bank account, you both own 100% of the asset and therefore the incapacitated persons 100% can be frozen and seized.
I can renegotiate a mortgage or sell the house even if the other person is incapacitated as I can act for them. Again, this is not true. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, If the incapacitated person is unable to sign to remortgage or to sell the property, then you will have to apply to the courts for a Deputyship Order which can be very time consuming and far more restrictive and expensive than a Lasting Power of Attorney.
I can stay in my home regardless of whether I have capacity or not. This decision will be taken out of the hands of your friends and family without a Lasting Power of Attorney. If Social Services decide to put a care plan in place and that includes residential care elsewhere, they do so under the authority of a court order. If the family try to hinder this, they could find themselves in Contempt of Court.
I am too young to even consider this. A Lasting Power of Attorney is relevant to anyone over 18 years of age, whilst it is unlikely someone in their 40s, 50s and 60s may get the onset of dementia, what if you have an accident? This is about your ability to give consent, irrespective of your age.
The number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to grow rapidly over the next several decades, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Age is one of the most significant factors for mental illnesses, such as dementia. Research also shows that 1 in 12 of UK adults aged above 65 years is diagnosed with some form of dementia.
What is startling is that 44 million people do not have a Power of Attorney, which represents 85% of the UK population. Another more than 40% do not know what this vital document is.
Don’t delay in putting a Power of Attorney in place. Let Centurion EPG lead the way. Simply complete our short contact form or give our experienced team of estate planners a call and let us help you.
You can write your own will but then again you can service your own car, grow your own fruit and vegetables and cut your own hair. Hiring a professional to write your Will helps you avoid common problems that could make your Will invalid when you die. Our team offer home visits where they can best advise you on larger issues including Lasting Powers of Attorney, inheritance tax planning and trusts.
One of the biggest benefits of a Family Asset Protection Trust is that the assets in the Trust bypass Probate, meaning that they inherit significantly quicker than in a standard will and without the asset attracting any probate fees. Unlike a Will which only becomes effective when you die, a Family Asset Protection Trust is effective while you’re still alive.
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