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A Power of attorney

 

Question-

Have you got a power
of attorney?

Answer – Why do I need one of those? I am capable of
making my own decisions. I’ve not got dementia.

 


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By Erika Watt of MM Legal

Well, do you know that power of attorney can be used intermittently? Say you’re on holiday and your water tank bursts flooding the house or if your purse or wallet is stolen while you’re abroad. What do you do? How do you get the insurance claim started or get a new bank card when you’re in deepest, darkest Bora Bora?

If you sign a financial and welfare power of attorney then those who you trust the most, friend, family or a professional, can make those decisions and deal with your affairs in the short
term, all while you’re sipping a poolside pinacolada.
A power of attorney is a document you sign when you are mentally well. It allows someone to act for you when you are physically or mentally unable to deal with financial or welfare matters.

Decisions

A common misconception is, if you were not able to go to the bank or make serious decisions about your health, then your next of kin would just be able to go into the bank and deal with your bills or make decisions about your health. It is not as easy as that.

Where you lose capacity permanently: a head injury, a stroke or dementia and you don’t regain capacity and don’t have a power of attorney, then your family or friends are required to apply to court to be as your appointed financial and welfare guardian. That process can take between four and eight months on average, depending on what local authority you’re applying to. In the meantime the bills are accruing and you are unable to move to more appropriate care or even go home with care.

Making a power of attorney is easy to do; you simply seek the assistance of your solicitor who can ensure that the power of attorney that is drafted for you covers all your specific needs or consult the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland. So, for peace of mind, to know that if something happens and you need someone’s help, you have the correct legal authority in place to allow that person to act on your behalf, then organise a financial and welfare power of attorney. Don’t take the chance.

A power of attorney is a document you sign when you are mentally well. It allows someone to act for you when you are physically or mentally unable to deal with financial or welfare matters.

 


 

For Able Magazine