By Mark Willey, Terence Willey & Co

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many utilised the powers they had been granted to protect and support friends and family members who needed to shield or isolate.

Those who had already prepared and registered powers of attorney could call on their appointed attorneys to help with the management of their property and affairs, or decisions about their welfare.

That might have included even simple tasks that had become more difficult to carry out. From organising and paying for shopping to communicating with the bank or other financial institutions or talking to health professionals about healthcare decisions and appointments.

The pandemic highlighted not only how vulnerable we can all be in unexpected circumstances, but also how having the right legal framework in place and the right people appointed, could help to navigate through it.  That is why having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place is so important.  Simply put, they can help protect and support people.

Finances after bereavement

Following a bereavement a family relative can be left on their own, the surviving relative is not used to managing alone, their partner managed the family finances. With a power of attorney in place, appointing say their children or other trusted individuals, then those appointees can step in to assist when the person is feeling lost and unable to manage.

We are currently seeing banks in our towns shut down and leave in quick succession, despite the fact that there are still many people who do not want to embrace apps and online methods of managing their affairs. Many are nervous of sophisticated scams and fraud, or are vulnerable to that threat. Those who prefer personal service and derive confidence and reassurance from seeing someone face to face may not have that kind of service local to them. If that is the case, increasingly more people may turn to their trusted appointed attorneys for that reassurance and to act as a second pair of eyes to ensure all is well, above board and in order.

If you don’t have powers of attorney in place, there is no time like the present to consider whether you should. You may feel you don’t need it now, but one never knows when you might – for any number of reasons – at some point in the future.