We recommend everyone makes a Lasting Power of Attorney, appointing one or more people to act on your behalf, if you become physically or mentally incapable. Not even spouses can act for each other, without holding formal legal Powers of Attorney. Without these Powers your financial affairs will be controlled by the Court of Protection, which can be expensive, time consuming, inflexible and frustrating. Lasting Powers of Attorney are as important as Wills, allowing your affairs to be managed efficiently, in line with your wishes, if you are incapacitated by accident or illness at any time during your lifetime. Lasting Powers of Attorney – Health & Welfare You can appoint people you trust to make decisions for you in relation to your medical treatment and care.
Here what the British Bankers say:
If one joint account holders lose mental capacity, banks and building societies can decide whether to temporarily restrict the use of the account to essential transactions only (e.g. living expenses and medical or residential care bills) until a deputy has been appointed or a power of attorney registered.
As you can see without the LPA in place the shutters come down not only on the banks but also other organisations in control of Finances. This normally involves solicitor fees and Courts costs
One of the most important pieces of advice for anyone with a relative who may at some point need care is to encourage your relative to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney – without delay.
A power of attorney is vital for anyone – regardless of age – who has money and assets to protect and/or who wants someone to act in their best interest in terms of healthcare choices should they be unable to make decisions for themselves.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
• Property & Financial Affairs
• Health & Welfare
Note: Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered before they can be used. This is done through the Office of the Public Guardian and can take up to 12 weeks. Registration of your documents, whilst optional at this stage, is strongly recommended, due to the length of time it takes to complete the registration process. Should a problem arise with your documents during the registration process once you have lost capacity, it will be too late to make corrections. Registration is completed through the Office of the Public Guardian for a fee of £82 per document, payable when the documents are ready to be registered.