What happens if I lose my marbles?
Who Looks After Me, My Money And My Property If I Lose My Marbles?
We all know we need to make a Will to make provision for our finances when we die. However, it is now just as important to make arrangements about our finances and decisions about our health and welfare for when we are still alive, but are possibly incapable of dealing with them ourselves.
As life expectancy increases, it is a sad fact that more people are being diagnosed with dementia and similar conditions. Dealing with the physical and emotional consequences of dementia is hard enough without having to do battle with the banks and utility providers who will not talk to you as the carer, or next of kin because of data protection, but bills still need to be paid andare costs have to be met. We all owe it to those who may have to care for us in our old age to ensure that we make proper arrangements in good time.
How Can You Plan Ahead? Make a Lasting Power of Attorney Deed
There are two types. One is in respect of your property and financial affairs, while he other is in respect of decisions about your health and welfare. You can make either or both. The most commonly made is a ‘Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney’.
What is a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney?
It is a document whereby you can appoint somebody, or several people you trust to be your Attorneys, to have legal authority to deal with all your property and financial affairs if the worst happens and you lose the mental ability to deal with them yourself. Your Attorneys will have the legal authority to make decisions about running your bank accounts and savings accounts, decisions about making or selling investments and selling property. It is therefore important that you choose as your attorney or attorneys someone you completely trust and who will be able to deal with your property and finances if there comes a time when you can’t.
How Do I Make a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney Deed?
It is a document in a statutory format. The form is a long one and the process of completing it can be somewhat off-putting. If you do not complete in the correct way it may turn out to be invalid at a time when you need it the most. It is therefore best to obtain professional advice from a solicitor who specialises in this area of law and therefore used to dealing with the process to avoid the pitfalls that can occur.
When Can a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney Deed be Used?
Once the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney is completed, it has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once it has been registered, it can be used at any time by those you have appointed as your attorneys - both when you have mental capacity with your permission and when you lack capacity.
What Will Happen If I Lose My Marbles and I Haven’t made a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney Deed?
If you do not have a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney deed in place and you lose your marbles your relatives may be forced to make an application to the Court of Protection whereby a Deputy is appointed to deal with your property and financial affairs. The Court appoints the Deputy. The Deputy therefore might not be someone who you would have chosen to deal with your property and financial affairs. The appointment of a Deputy process is both long winded and considerably more expensive than making a Lasting Power of Attorney Deed. The cost of applying for someone to be appointed to be your Deputy is not just a one off cost as the Court of Protection require annual Court fees and insurance payments as well which may run into thousands of pounds over the years.
If you trust someone to deal with your property and financial affairs, it is important that you do not leave this decision too late. If you act now both you and those who are likely to care for you can rest easy in the knowledge that you have made provision for your future and your future carers will be able to deal with your property and financial affairs easily at a time it matters.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to a wills and probate solicitor for advice, contact Percy Hughes & Roberts for a no-obligation phone consultation today. We provide ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process.