Lasting Powers of Attorney: Do it now!

Robert and Alison came to see me recently to discuss their own affairs. They already had Wills in place and both in their 50’s and still working with no health issues. Why would they consider making Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Robert’s story-how Lasting Powers of Attorney helped his family

Roberts father was diagnosed with a form of Dementia a couple of years ago. Roberts parents went to see their Solicitor at the time and as his father was still then able to make his own decisions, they arranged to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney documents. Robert and his brother were named as Attorneys.  It has only been recently that Robert and his brother have needed to act as attorneys and use the documents. They have been able to deal with their father’s bank accounts, sort out bills and help their mother cope with the finances. They are also as a family now having to look at a possible care home for dad and being attorneys, they have been able to speak to social services and the Doctor with mum.

Alison’s story-how having no Lasting Powers of Attorney caused problems

Alison has a close friend called Tracy whose 65-year-old mother lives alone and has 2 other children. Tracy has always been closest to her mum, seeing her daily. Although Tracy’s brother sees their mum it is not often, and the other sister can be quite difficult, and she fell out with their mother some years ago and has had very limited contact. Tracy’s mum has suffered an unexpected stroke and right now cannot make her own decisions. Decisions need to be made about where she should live, her care and sorting out her finances.

No Lasting Powers of Attorney were ever put in place and Tracy is now having to make an application to Court to be appointed as a deputy to make decisions for her mum. Her sister is objecting and so far, it has cost a lot of money and taken many weeks and is still not sorted. Tracy is finding it all very stressful and emotional and has told Alison that she is at breaking point herself. Both situations have prompted them to look at their own situation and to see about setting up documents for themselves.

Robert and Alison’s decison that gave them peace of mind

Robert said “having the documents in place for my parents meant when things went wrong there was one less thing to worry about. We just got on with helping my parents. Tracy however is spending a lot of her time trying to sort out legal things when she has enough to cope with anyway, it is adding to an already anxious situation-we really feel for Tracy “

Alison also said that she realised that illness or accidents can happen at any age and she wanted peace of mind that if anything was ever to happen to her or Robert then the family would have one less thing to worry about.

They asked us to prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney for Finances and Health & Welfare for each of them. It was dealt with quickly, without fuss and for a fixed fee. The documents have now been filed away and will only be used if needed. A bit like insurance, you may never need it, but it is best to have it in place just in case.

I know Robert and Alison both felt happy that they had took this step and Alison said it gave them “peace of mind”. She also said it was a lot easier than she thought it would be.

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note all names have been changed.

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