There is often confusion between Powers of Attorney and Wills. Most simply put, a Power of Attorney is actioned whilst living and a Will once deceased. Both are incredibly important legal documents that can prevent a lot of inconvenience, distress, lengthy court proceedings and upset. We believe, you should have both documents in place for complete peace of mind.
Like so many others, you may believe that you would be able to act and make decisions for a loved one, close friend or spouse if they were no longer able to because of illness or unable to because they were out of the country or in an accident. Unfortunately this is so often not the case and in most instances court proceedings to gain authority is the only way.
A Power of Attorney is a relatively straight-forward legal document laying out who you would want to act on your behalf if you are unable to deal with your own affairs. Who you chose and trust is up to you – you can name a partner, spouse, civil partner, family member, friend, child, professional…or a combination. There are two types of Power of Attorney…
With your permission, this gives the attorney the power to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf regarding your financial and property affairs. This particular power can be utilised while you still have capacity i.e. living/working abroad, housebound, hospitalised after an accident etc
It allows the person(s) chosen to deal with things like bank accounts, paying bills, tax returns, insurances, investments, collecting benefits or a pension, gifting, property related issues (down to buying property) and many more.
Unlike a continuing Power of Attorney, these powers only take effect if you cannot make decisions about your welfare yourself…however, you must appoint your WPA while you have capacity and understanding. These powers allow authority over decisions around both your health and personal welfare, for example what medical treatment you should or shouldn’t receive, where you are cared for or live, down to what you eat and how you should be dressed.
If it is too late and the person does not understand what they are doing a Guardianship or Intervention Order may be required, which would involve raising court proceedings.
Kirkcaldy: 01592 204774
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Dundee: 01382 568188
Broxburn: 01506 855777
Powers of Attorney aren’t just for the elderly, they are a document we advise our clients to have yet hope they never need to use. Almost like an insurance policy! In our option it’s never too early to put one in place as we have seen so often the negative consequences when there isn’t one and it has been too late. Book your appointment today!Contact us
“They made this whole process very straight forward and problem free. We will most definitely be using W& AS Bruce in the future! Thank you for making this process stress free for us!” Mr & Mrs Duffy