Power of Attorney — Do I Need One?

We are living longer now into eighties, nineties and hundred plus years. With age though, comes ailments for some.

Not many people after the age of fifty are still as agile as when they were in their thirties. However, it would be most unfair not to be able to enjoy the fruits of one’s many years of labour, because the Government or Local Authority decides on how to manage your affairs.

A Power of Attorney is a simple, legal document authorising someone of your choice, like your child, to manage your affairs, in the event that you are unable to do so, properly, for example, if you are ill.

My Mum had a Stroke in her sixties. She was lucky enough to pull through, but never fully recovered her speech. She knew exactly what she wanted to tell people, but couldn’t quite get her words out as coherently as she wanted to.

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Gisela Merkuur from Pixabay

It then dawned on her that she needed a trustworthy spokesperson to express her desires, in the event that she isn’t able to communicate it adequately or people mis-interpret what she wants to say or assume they know what she wants to say or think they know what is best for her.

Of her own accord, Mum sought what she needed to do, which was to put a Power of Attorney document in place.

She listed and discussed her assets in detail with her children. She relayed the fact that she didn’t want to be relocated from her current place of abode, nor did she want any Carer imposed upon her, unless she chooses.

She appointed her children to abide by her decisions, trusting that her children would express her desires, be it floozy or whatever. She didn’t want the Government or other family members making decisions for her.

Mum also made sure her children would be able to access her funds and make decisions on her properties and how she wishes to enjoy her life. Mum loves Life and Life loves her back 💓

On another note, a ninety-year old lady suffering from Alzheimer’s, was admitted into hospital. Her only child, a daughter was out of the country at the time. On her discharge, the Local Authority incarcerated the elderly lady into a Care Home because she was assessed as not being capable of caring for herself.

Her daughter was abroad as at the time of her Mum’s discharge from the hospital and couldn’t do much from abroad.

On returning to the country, the daughter went to collect her Mum from the Care Home and took her to her own place.

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Prettysleepy1 from Pixabay

The Local Authority went to the daughter’s place to take her Mum back to the Care Home, despite the elderly lady pleading that she wanted to stay with her daughter. The Local Authority had also put the elderly lady’s home up for sale, to pay for her upkeep in the Care Home.

Unfortunately, there was no Power of Attorney in place, so the Daughter literally had no powers over her own Mother’s affairs. The daughter was devastated. She had to go to the Courts to get her Mum. This was an expensive affair and dragged on for months.

All this could have been avoided if her Mum had a Power of Attorney in place, a simple legal document authorising the Daughter to dictate what is best for her, in accordance with her wishes.

With a Power of Attorney in place, the daughter would have had her elderly Mum back in the comfort of her home with adequate care and support, instead of being incarcerated in a Care Home. The daughter would have had access to her Mum’s funds to pay for her Mum’s upkeep whilst she was abroad. The Local Authority wouldn’t have had the right to put up the elderly lady’s home for sale. Most importantly, her elderly Mum would have been much happier and more comfortable in her familiar surroundings with familiar faces.

Why Should You Have a Power Of Attorney?

Here are 7 reasons one should have a Power of Attorney in place:

  1. Without a Power of Attorney, your children or first line Carer have limited or no powers to care for you as you would have wished, especially if you cannot dictate your wishes.
  2. Your accounts may be frozen. Wouldn’t it be such a shame if your children are unable to access your hard earned funds to care for you? Or you are unable to access your Parent’s hard earned funds to cater for them?
  3. You are dumped in a Care Home that is not of your choice.
  4. Your loving home is being sold off so that the proceeds of your home can be used to fund your care in a Care Home and your children have no say in the matter.
  5. You are not allowed to go and live with your children or person or place of your choice. You have to go where the Local Authority or Government assign you to stay.
  6. Your children may have to incur expensive Legal Fees and waste so much time, just to resolve these issues.
  7. You and your children may not have the opportunity to decide on your End of Life Care.

Though this applies more to the elderly, if you are over the age of fifty, it is advisable to have a Power Of Attorney in place. If your parents are over the age of fifty, you should discuss the option of having a Power of Attorney in place and getting their affairs in order for both your sakes.

Power of Attorney may be General, Limited, Unlimited. You need to follow the guidelines for drafting a Power of Attorney in the country in which the owner resides.

Here’s a sample Power of Attorney document.

The format may vary from country to country, but the fundamental principle and contents remain the same.

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For more advice and information, if you are based in the U.K., do drop Jane a line on: jane.morel@sternberg-reed.co.uk

The Power of Attorney can be for a specific period of time and for particular purposes, such as the management of Finances, Assets, Health or whatever you decide.

Following my previous write up on ‘Estates & Will Planning — Is It Necessary?’, download a free Asset List Register from here:

CLOCR is a Cloud Vault in which you can log, organise, manage, update as well as share your Asset List with trusted parties. It is worth exploring.

Wishing you a excellent health, wellness and abundance!

Sasha’s Chronicles ☀️

Written by

Sadé Tolani is a Solopreneur who loves to travel and aims to visit all the countries in the world. So far, she has made it to over fifty countries.

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