23rd October 2023
Gap in knowledge and uptake of power of attorney
PROTECTING INDIVIDUALS AND FACILITATING SMOOTH DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
Recent data highlights a concerning gap in knowledge and uptake of power of attorney in the UK . While 95% of adults know of its existence, only one in three truly understand how it is utilised in practice.
A power of attorney, or general power of attorney, is suitable for temporary situations when you need assistance. It remains valid only as long as you have mental capacity. This can be helpful for tasks like managing finances during a business trip or medical treatment abroad.
HEALTHCARE, FINANCES AND PROPERTY
A lasting power of attorney is a long-term arrangement with no expiry date. If you lose mental capacity, it allows someone you choose to decide on your behalf. It can also be used whilst an individual still has capacity with consent. It is a comprehensive document that covers carious aspects, such as healthcare, finances, and property. This would involve two separate lasting power of attorney arrangements, health and welfare for health care purposes, and property and financial affairs for finance and property.
CRITICAL LEGAL DOCUMENT
Power of attorney is a critical legal document that empowers a designated person to make decisions or act on behalf of an individual who becomes unable to do so, and in some circumstances where the individual still has capacity. It is crucial in managing various financial assets, including mortgages, bills and investments.
Surprisingly, less than half (41%) of married couples have power of attorney in place, and 24% have no intention of doing so. This suggests that many married couples view this measure as unnecessary, possibly due to a mistaken belief that power of attorney automatically applies to married couples.
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 Scottish Widows – Power-of-attorney.pdf – 13/03/23
This article does not constitute tax or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
Your own personal circumstances, including where you live in the UK, will have an impact on the tax you pay. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. Seek professional advice.