A recent report shows that 4 out of 5 people don’t have a Power of Attorney – according to some, this is the biggest financial mistake we are all making. Putting a Power of Attorney in place could be considered even more important than having a Will, however many people don’t realise the importance it has and the financial implications of not doing so.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf, should you not be able to do so yourself. This could be due to ill health or a serious accident and none of us can foresee when this might occur.
Decisions could be regarding your property and financial affairs or your health and welfare. This could just be a temporary situation: for example, if you are in hospital and need help with everyday things such as making sure bills are paid. Alternatively, you may need to make longer-term plans if, for example, you have been diagnosed with dementia (there are approximately 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland) and you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
It is important to consider how much worse the situation would be if you had a stroke, serious accident or dementia and were unable to make decisions about your finances, without having put something in place first.
McQueen Legal has a wealth of experience in this field and we have unfortunately seen what can happen when Powers of Attorney are not put in place at the right time. Preparation of a Power of Attorney costs £300 + VAT + registration dues (currently £75) – you must have the capacity to make your own decisions when you set up a POA, so please get in touch with us to arrange your POA at the earliest opportunity.