Scottish Power Of Attorney and Advanced Medical Directives/Living Wills
For young and old like
Most of us think that having Power of Attorney over someone’s affairs is reserved for relatives or carers of elderly or disabled family members. That just isn’t the case.
Simply put, Power of Attorney is a means of granting authority to a trusted relative or friend to conduct any official business on your behalf.
You can grant Power of Attorney to up to four trusted friends or relatives to allow them to assist you with your daily business. You can choose whether your attorneys should work jointly (all attorneys must authorise a particular transaction) or severally (any one attorney can carry out a task on their own). Attorneys need to be over 16 and not declared bankrupt at the time.
In practical terms, granting Power of Attorney to your spouse or partner, for example, means that he or she can do business with your bank, utilities or mortgage company or any other official body, such as TV Licensing, while you are travelling on business, on holiday, or simply otherwise engaged. If you were stuck for cash in a foreign country, your Attorney could arrange for your credit card limit to be raised.
You don’t have to be ill or incapacitated. Your Attorney, once they’re registered as such, can do everything except write or rewrite your will, or deal with ‘living will’ issues (see below).
If your passport were stolen while you were abroad, for instance, your Attorney would be able to deal directly with the authorities in the UK on your behalf. Or if an important letter from the bank or government arrived while you were seriously ill or in hospital, your Attorney would be able to discuss the matter with them while you recovered.
A Welfare Attorney could also liaise with medical staff if you were incapacitated, unconscious or in a coma, and authorise operations and other care. They would also be kept fully informed, with none of the Data Protection issues often suffered by partners who are not legally “next of kin” and even spouses are not allowed the full story without a Welfare Attorney being in place.
I can, of course, also arrange for Power of Attorney in the case of elderly or incapacitated friends or relatives, providing they are still of sound mind.
In short, I can advise you on the best ways to grant and use Power of Attorney, and help you with the paperwork necessary to put it in place with the most important and commonly used authorities, financial institutions and professionals.
ADVANCED MEDICAL DIRECTIVES / LIVING WILLS
No one wants to put their closest family through the trauma of deciding whether or not to turn off a life support system. But if you haven’t shared your thoughts on such a delicate subject with your family they might, especially at a time of such high emotion, disagree about what your wishes were. Their own personal views might also cloud their judgement of what treatments you would wish to have or refuse.
If you are partnered rather than married, your partner will not have a say even if they are your official carer.
I can explain the simplest ways to make sure your end-of-life wishes are respected and your family is not put in a hideous situation at an emotional time. With an Advanced Medical Directive in place, everyone will know exactly what your wishes are and be spared making that agonising decision.
This firm complies with the ISPW Code of Practice.