MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis endorses Lasting Powers of Attorney
What would happen if you were unable to manage your finances?
If, like many people around this time of the year, your finances are be tight after the expense of Christmas, you might not be thinking about what would happen if you couldn’t actually sort out the payment of your bills, writing cheques, moving money around to get the best savings deals and the 0% interest rate on a new credit card.
However, there is never any better time to think about this than right now. What would happen if you were unable to manage your finances? No-one likes to think about what “might” happen if we were no longer able to manage our finances, but we all have to be realistic and decide what would need to be done and who will do it for you if something “did” happen.
What would you do if a parent or other family member suffered a stroke, was diagnosed with Dementia or was unable to manage their finances? The law does not allow just anyone access to bank accounts or savings, nor does the law permit another person to sign legal documents without express consent. What do you do if that consent cannot be given? The answer is a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Martin Lewis MBE addressed this issue in his latest programme shown on ITV on Friday 23rd January 2015. He said that everyone should sign a Lasting Power of Attorney authorising someone to act on their behalf in the event that they could not deal with their affairs. He, himself, has done this – he is only 42 so there is no time like the present.
The emotional distress that the loss of a person’s capacity and ability to manage financial affairs can bring to their loved ones can be overwhelming. Add to this, the stress, time and paperwork that the family members have to deal with in order to apply for Deputyship (this is a Court Order permitting someone to deal with another person’s affairs). It usually takes around 6 months for an Order to be issued. This can be easily sorted out by preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney.
When compared to the costs of a Deputyship application at the Court of Protection as well as annual fees payable until a person passes away (which can be many years) - £400 to make the initial application and then annual fees for assessment, security bond and accounts have to be submitted every year and checked by the Court and a further fee paid), you will find that the costs for preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney are much less.