Why lasting powers of attorney are crucial during Covid

Covid-19 has made us all more conscious of our own mortality and the need to put Wills in place to make things easier should the worse happen. In truth, however, we never know what the future holds and it is essential to put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place as well as Wills.

Wills cover the position on death setting out how you wish to leave your assets and appointing people you trust to manage the process. They do not, however, have any effect until you die and this is where Lasting Powers come in. These enable you to appoint people you trust to manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf if you do not have capacity.

Lasting Powers are not something to do later in life when you are older. It is not only about dementia or Alzheimer’s. If something happens to you suddenly, whether through illness or accident, and you do not have these in place it is much harder for your loved ones to support you or even just to carry on.

If only your name is on the household bills only you can deal with the utility companies. Accounts held in your sole name are not accessible to your partner or anyone else. You might think that having joint accounts is the answer but once one of you loses capacity the joint mandate ceases to have effect – it might help for a while but the bank always find out eventually.

The impact of covid-19 on families has shown it is even more important to get these key documents in place. Lasting Powers take time to prepare and are only active when registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The sooner, therefore, you get the ball rolling the better as you will only have peace of mind when they are complete.

For more information call Simon Crooks on 01227 207000 or email him. Simon’s office opposite the City Wall in Broad Street, Canterbury, is currently closed to visiting clients. Meetings are available remotely by telephone and/or video.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.