Have you thought what would happen if you or your partner lost mental capacity?
An accident might be the cause, or an illness such as Alzheimer’s. Either way, the result could be that your bank account is frozen and then how do you pay the mortgage, buy the shopping, pay the bills?
In September 2003, Heather Bateman’s husband Michael was knocked down by a car on a country road, an accident which left him in a coma. Michael’s wages paid the household bills but as Heather tried to manage the family finances, she quickly found that she wasn’t allowed access to her husband’s money.
Had they had Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, Heather would have been legally allowed to manage her husband’s affairs but without these crucial documents she was forced to turn to the Court of Protection, the court set up to protect the assets of vulnerable people. Heather eventually got permission to manage Michael’s finances but had to follow the Court’s strict rules, including only being able to write a cheque for up to £500 without having special permission. She also faced a series of fees to be paid to the court which amounted to more than £3000 over the next few years. Over this period, dealing with the Court of Protection caused Heather much grief, anger and frustration. After three years, Michael died, releasing Heather from having to deal with the Court any longer.
The only way to avoid such an awful experience is to arrange Lasting Powers of Attorney, which allow your ‘attorney’ – a person chosen by yourself – to handle your affairs when you yourself cannot. This could have saved Heather significant costs and a great deal of stress.
MVL Wills and Trusts of Battle, East Sussex, is a specialist in estate planning and the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Contact advisor Andrew Mathias for a free consultation at our offices or in the comfort of your own home. Call or email for more information on 01424 577070 or firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the latest information on our website at MVL Wills and Trusts