Christmas is just around the corner. The shops are full of Christmas gifts, party planning is well under way and Christmas adverts are filling our screens continuously. In particular, the infamous John Lewis advert has got the nation talking; “is it as good as previous years; is there scope for a cuddly toy; does it bring a tear to your eye; etc?”
This year’s theme really got me thinking and hopefully it will be a useful reminder to us all to consider our elderly friends and relatives at this time of year. The store is working alongside Age UK to encourage us to “love later life”. One step to achieving this is to plan and be prepared for what the future brings. Whether you are already enjoying retirement or have many years to go yet, we never quite know what could be in store for us and so it is always better to be prepared.
We are all keen to build up a pension for those years but what happens if you suffer an illness that causes you to be physically or mentally incapable of managing that pension? Such illnesses could make it difficult to pay bills, manage bank accounts or move house. To prevent this from causing even more disruption and trauma at a difficult time you should make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) now. The LPA will appoint people you trust as your attorneys to manage and make decisions about your property and financial affairs on your behalf. They can act under your instruction or if you are unable to make your own decisions anymore, then they can do so for you.
As the population is living longer, statistics show that 1 million people will be living with dementia in the UK by 2025 and one in 6 people aged over 80 have dementia (www.Alzheimers.org.uk). With the chances of you or a loved one suffering such an illness, it is imperative that we prepare for this. The benefits of making Lasting Powers of Attorney are:
- It can be reassuring to know that, if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future, your chosen person will make the decision for you.
- Making an LPA ensures that the person you want to make decisions for you will be able to do so. This prevents a stranger, or someone you may not trust, from having this power.
- The LPA can reduce problems that may occur in the future. It can be more expensive and time-consuming for family or friends to try to gain a similar power in the future, after you have lost the ability to choose someone yourself.
- Banks and financial organisations may not be prepared to deal with anyone other than you unless you have officially appointed them as your attorney.
Use this time of year to talk to elderly loved ones and make sure that they have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and to also make sure that you are prepared for your future – don’t leave yourself alone on the moon! Be proactive now for your and your loved ones’ peace of mind.
Please contact your nearest office to speak to a member of our Wills, Probate and LPAs team:
Bedford – 01234 270600 Cambridge – 01223 411421
Milton Keynes – 01908 202150 Sandy – 01767 680251