You may have already arranged a Will* to deal with matters in the event of your death, but have you considered what would happen if you became unable to handle your affairs while still alive?
Peace of mind
Have you considered how a physical or mental illness could affect your ability to manage your personal affairs? If the prospect of this worries you, you should consider setting up a power of attorney (PoA). This is a legal document which allows you to appoint one or more people to either help you make legal decisions, or to make them entirely on your behalf.
Knowing that your financial affairs will be looked after by people you trust can give you valuable peace of mind.
There are a number of different types of PoA available depending on your requirements:
- Continuing PoA
- Welfare PoA
- Combined PoA
Continuing PoA – can be used while you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions, but you require temporary assistance. For example, if you are hospitalised or on holiday and you want to empower someone to make financial transactions on your behalf. If this is only to be used in the event of your incapacity, it must clearly state the powers are not to be used until this happens and you can include details about who can make that decision.
Welfare PoA – your attorneys will be able to act on your behalf if you become completely unable to make decisions regarding your own wellbeing. For example, if your circumstances mean you require full time care, medical treatment or help with your daily routine, they will step in and act in your interests.
Combined PoA – are a combination of both Continuing and Welfare.
Choosing your attorneys
When deciding who you would like as your attorneys, there are a few things to consider:
- How well do you know them?
- How well do they look after their own affairs?
- Do you trust them to make decisions that are best for you?
- Will they be comfortable making these decisions?
If you choose more than one attorney, you will also need to decide whether they will make decisions separately or together. Replacement attorneys are a good idea in case your chosen attorneys become unable to carry out the role for whatever reason.
If you would like any assistance in deciding whether an PoA would be suitable for you, or any help setting up an PoA, please get in touch.
*Will writing and Powers of Attorney are not part of the Openwork offering and is offered in our own right. Openwork Limited accept no responsibility for this aspect of our business.
Will writing, and Powers of Attorney are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority