Have you ever considered what will happen with you and/or your affairs if, during your lifetime, you become mentally incapable of looking after yourself or managing your affairs? Do you take comfort in the belief that family member(s)/neighbour/family friend will do what is necessary to look after you and your affairs?
It is quite common that people believe this to be the case. The reality is that, without taking steps to deal with your affairs,while you are able to do so, youwill leave the people who care about you in a very difficult position in the future, if you were to become mentally incapable.
If your needs require admission to a nursing home, how is the nursing home going to be paid? If you are being cared for at home and the help of carers is required, how are the carers to be paid? Clearly, if you have money in your bank account then it can be used to pay for your needs but how does the person who “steps up” to take care of your needs have access to your bank account? If you hold a bank account in your sole name then nobody can have access to that account but you however, if you are mentally incapacitated you cannot give instructions to your bank so, in effect, the money in your bank cannot be accessed.
If you do not have a lot of money in your bank but you have sufficient assets e.g. land or shares that you could sell in order to provide monies for your care, then this would be a possible solution. However, without taking the necessary steps to manage your affairs, nobody has the authority to sign the necessary legal documents required to proceed with a sale of your property and remember you cannot do so because you are no longer mentally capable!
It is advisable to create an Enduring Power of Attorney(EPA)while you are able to do so. Of course, none of us wish to contemplate the possibility of becoming mentally incapableat some time in the future but as none of us are capable of predicting the future, we should prepare for this possibility. An EnduringPower of Attorney is a legal document created by a person, while they are mentally able, whereby they appoint one or more persons, known as Attorneys, to manage his/her affairs and to make personal care decisions for him/her, if this becomesnecessary at some point into the future.
The benefit of making an EPA is that you decide who will be the best person(s) to make the necessary decisions for you, if you cannot do so yourself. If you make an EPA, it is important to be assured that you are not giving away control of your affairs unless you become mentally incompetent at some time in the future.