In our last newsletter, we reminded you about the importance of having a Will that always reflects your current position and wishes.
Now we turn to Enduring Powers of Attorney – where you get to choose the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. Like Wills, this form of estate planning is useful for all, irrespective of age or well being.
There are two separate and distinct appointments:
The appointments are made while you have mental capacity. You can replace or cancel your attorney(s) at any time that you retain capacity.
You may not replace or amend the appointments or the terms of the appointments if you lose capacity. The enduring nature of the appointments is such that on the assessment of loss of capacity, the authority given by you continues until your death.
We recommend appointing attorneys. YOU decide who you want to act for you. In making that decision, you are choosing people that you trust absolutely. You have the opportunity to discuss what matters to you with those people before they are called on to act in your place.
Loss of capacity can occur suddenly with immediate effect. It can occur slowly over a period of time. If you have not made attorney appointments prior to losing capacity the Family Court will appoint welfare and/or property guardians for you. Your spouse or your children do not have any automatic right to act on your behalf if you have not put the appropriate appointment in place.
Applications to the Family Court are expensive and time consuming. Sometimes families cannot agree on who should request the appointment. Entry by you into these documents ahead of time can save a lot of heartache and expense, allowing your family to concentrate on you and your remaining years.
Think about attorney appointments as an insurance policy. Rather like a “what if” scenario.
Talk to us about you Enduring Power of Attorney. Legal Executive Margaret Mary De Goldi (DDI 03 343 8381 / firstname.lastname@example.org).