Dennis and Joyce: Powers of Attorney
Throughout their married lives Dennis had always been successful in business ending up as a Managing Director for a top UK blue chip company. He was known for his business acumen within his circle of friends and family. It was always the happy couple’s intention to retire, ensure their children were financially supported and travel the world whilst they were still healthy and able.
Dennis and Joyce had written a will and ensured each other and their loved ones were legally protected a long while ago when their children were very young. In addition they had taken sound business advice and mitigated Inheritance tax wherever possible through appropriate Trusts that were set up. Dennis prided himself on the organization of this.
After a just a few months Dennis’s behavior changed and gradually over the coming year he showed signs of memory loss and forgetfulness to the point that it became obvious to all those around him that something was not normal. Joyce had seen her father suffer with Dementia and recognized aspects in Dennis’s behaviour similar to those of her father and recommended a doctor visit. Sadly Dennis was diagnosed with mid stage Alzeimers (Dementia) an illness now affecting one in nine elderly people in this country.
As time progressed Dennis could not be left alone, the family worried constantly for his safety and his decision making abilities were becoming questionable. Dennis controlled all the finances within the household, the house was in his name solely, the bank accounts and investments, ISA’s, and shares were also only in his name.
Dennis eventually deteriorated to the point that his loving family could no longer cope and it was decided that he was best looked after in a care home. His financial decisions were now becoming a huge liability and he could not be trusted with his position as financial head of the family. At this point his failure to not have drawn up Powers of Attorney became a living nightmare for the family.
Joyce could not access their money, even though Dennis would have wanted her to. The courts decided what to do with his estate, his house, how his money was spent. Joyce was at the mercy of the courts to live day to day. The family had no say in the care home he went to, how he was medically treated, what time he awoke, what he wore, what time he went to bed etc. In fact all decisions regarding all assets Dennis owned and his welfare decisions were left in the hands of the courts and sadly not the hands of his loved ones. His family was indeed powerless as they watched it all unfolding before them.
Had Dennis and Joyce just prepared Powers of Attorneys and appointed each other at the point they wrote their will, then Joyce would have been in total control of all their financial affairs and all decisions regarding Dennis’s health and welfare and their nightmare avoided.
Act now and ensure that it is you that determines decisions about your loved ones and not the courts of the land.