23rd April 2014

Protecting you and your family against the unexpected

Article by Jessica Pye | Legal Updates

We always think that it will happen to someone else, but the truth is that we never know what is round the corner.  Accidents can happen, or you or a loved one may suddenly be faced with battling a serious illness, and as the recent terrible skiing accident of Michael Schumacher shows, life can change in an instant.  It is at times like these, the last thing we want to have to worry about is whether our affairs are in order.

People often make sure that they have a Will in place to make provisions after their death, but what happens if you have lost the ability to deal with your affairs during your lifetime?  If you have in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (or if it was made before 1 October 2007, an Enduring Power of Attorney) this will allow the attorneys you have appointed to act on your behalf and manage your affairs.  However, if you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney, someone will have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy for you – this process is costly and time-consuming, and may also result in a person you would not have not chosen handling your affairs on your behalf.

It is a common misconception that Lasting Powers of Attorney are just for elderly people or those with dementia, and unfortunately a lot of people will put off thinking about having the necessary arrangements in place until it is too late.  How much better to have the peace of mind of knowing that those you trust can step in straight away, just in case something unexpected happens which leaves you incapable of dealing with your affairs – even if it is for just a short time.

If you would like to know more about Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact Robert Sawers in our Petersfield office or James Sawers or Jessica Pye in our Midhurst office.