BAY Legal Matters

With Katherine Simpson of Graham Evans and Partners

Power of Attorney

AN AGEING POPULATION FACES CHALLENGES BUT LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY OFFERS PROTECTION AND CONTROL OVER VITAL AFFAIRS. KATHERINE SIMPSON OF GRAHAM EVANS AND PARTNERS TELLS US MORE.

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In the UK, the number of over-65s now outnumbers people aged under-16 for the first time in our history. During the last century, life expectancy increased by 30 years but managing our affairs as we get older can, for some, prove difficult.

Declining health, sudden illness and dementia can all mean that we struggle with day-to-day management of house-hold and financial affairs and there may come a time when a trusted friend or loved one would be better suited to pick up the reins.

This is why Lasting Power of Attorney suits many people as it is designed to help people share responsibility and decision making should the need arise.

Lasting Power of Attorney offers you control, it does not mean that you hand it over. You will continue to make decisions and perhaps you may only need help with  practicalities such as making phone calls or changing energy suppliers.

However, there is one crucial step to remember. Lasting Power of Attorney is only valid if you have the mental capacity to set it up – mental capacity means that you are still able to make your own choices.

So, rather than waiting for illness or   complications  to arise, the best way to protect your interests is to think who you would trust to act on your behalf now.

Delaying this decision can bring unnecessary expense and complications. Once you have lost mental capacity, it is too late.

Then a family member or advisor will need to make an application via the Court of Protection so that they can act as deputy. It can be costly and the person who applies may not necessarily be who you would have chosen for the role. It is also the case that specialised insurance has to be put in place in case of financial misappropriation.

So planning ahead matters and at Graham Evans, we are always happy to discuss how to best protect your interests, both today and for whatever tomorrow may bring.

You can contact Katherine on 01792 655822 or email at katherinesimpson@geplegal.co.uk

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