You can appoint more than one replacement attorney and you can change the rules about how or when they act.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025. More than 1 in 5 people over 85 already suffer from this, and it is increasing, with rates significantly higher amongst women than men.
Accidents, strokes, brain injuries and Parkinson’s disease can also affect someone’s ability to make their own decisions. Handling your financial affairs can become virtually impossible, which is why charities that care for the elderly recommend everyone plans ahead. This could have the dual benefit of saving a great deal of money and easing the burden on their relatives.
“If one joint account holder loses mental capacity, banks and building societies can decide whether or not to temporarily restrict the use of the account to essential transactions only” – British Bank Association
The restricting of a joint account has severe implications as the joint owner cannot freely withdraw what is their own money. This could be devastating, especially if the joint owner has their only form of income, such as their pension, paid into this joint account.
“If your joint bank account is frozen, how will your partner pay essential bills such as your mortgage, utilities, car payments or insurance?”
NOT JUST DEMENTIA!
One of the biggest misconceptions nowadays is that Power of Attorney is only in case you get Dementia or a similar illness. This is not the case!
Just being admitted to the hospital now, you will be asked if you have a Power of Attorney in place. This is because, if you have not, then the hospital will take over your care and your spouse or children will have no say in your medications, operations or care. In years gone by, it was enough to be related to the patient in hospital but that has changed. Whenever there is any risk to a patient with the treatment, the hospital will not take this risk without the patient themselves or their Power of Attorney “signing it off.” A spouse or child will not be able to do this without a Power of Attorney.
SOME MEDICAL REASONS YOU COULD NEED YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY:
- Dementia, Alzheimers or similar.
- Unconscious or comma
- An injury which prevents your signature
- Too ill to be able to deal with a matter
- Your temperature is too high and you cannot fully understand a matter
- Injury or illness which results in reduced mobility
- General poor health