In these uncertain times of a global pandemic, it is wise to hope for the best but plan for the worst.
Everyone, regardless of their age or stage of life, should have given power of attorney in their will to someone they trust – usually a spouse, partner, relative, or friend.
This important document enables them to act on your behalf when mental or physical incapacity prevents you from doing so yourself.
However, it MUST be set up when you are fit and able to do so, as it cannot be done if you have lost capacity or diagnosed with a disease that affects your decision-making ability.
“You never know what’s around the corner, so getting a will and power of attorney at this point is imperative,” says Tony Marchi, principal of ILAWS, an independent law and wills specialist in Scotland.
“The coronavirus has shown us how unsafe life can be. Now is the perfect time to set out your wishes for the future. We should all have a power of attorney as we have no idea what the future will look like – who could have predicted this pandemic, for example?
“It doesn’t mean you are giving up power or not in control of your own life,” said Tony Marchi. “The power of attorney can only be exercised with your permission or if you are unable to act yourself.
“When you and your family are faced with a medical emergency, a power of attorney can be a life-saving document. When you are in the hospital, no one can make decisions for you unless you can make them for yourself unless you have a power of attorney.
“And sometimes doctors will not give treatment or medication or perform surgery if you are at risk, even if your spouse or children so wish. There is a common misconception that “Next of Kin” has the same official reputation, but it is not. “
Without a power of attorney, your spouse / partner and your family have no authority or ability to deal with your bank accounts, building society accounts, insurance, pensions and savings.
Should you be in care, your spouse or children may have a chance to protect your savings and they can control your finances to ensure the rest of your life is as comfortable as possible.
Powers of attorney are used for dozens of different reasons, from a broken bone that makes it difficult to get into a minor heart attack or stroke that you may recover from but that needs help while recovering, to a long hospital stay, too Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any other disease that affects your mental performance.
“I would recommend arranging a power of attorney now, if you are able and able to do so. The average time to complete a Power of Attorney is approximately 14 weeks, ”Tony added. “People put off creating powers for years, but no longer.”
ILAWS can arrange a will for you at your home for just £ 48 (including VAT) while a power of attorney can be arranged for £ 240 (including VAT) plus £ 81 registration fee.
A will and a power of attorney can easily be made by phone, online or by booking an appointment all in one ILAWS Office once restrictions are lifted. Bookings can be made immediately Freefone 0800 049 9688