I work in our Private Client Department and manage older and vulnerable clients’ affairs. This position has made me realise how difficult it is for clients who do not have family members close to them. It could be that they do not live close by, or they do not have a close relationship with the client for whatever reason. At Longmores, we act as Attorneys under Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Finances where there are no other suitable people to take up this role. Where there are no family members to provide a helping hand my role can include a regular visit to check the client has everything they need, liaising with financial advisors to ensure the client’s money is achieving maximum income, arranging care, arranging meal deliveries, contacting third parties for jobs around the house, etc.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (‘EPA’) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPA’) are both documents which you can sign in order to give authority for your ‘Attorneys’ to make decisions on your behalf. The EPA is restricted to financial and property decisions, whereas the LPA can also include health and welfare decisions (there are two types of LPA; one for financial and property affairs and one for health and welfare).
Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) allow you to appoint someone to assist you with your affairs. There are two types of LPA; Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs. As the names suggest, one is used to appoint someone to assist you with health matters such as care, medical treatment, etc, and one is to appoint someone to assist you with matters relating to your finances and property such as selling your property, making payments on your behalf, accessing your bank accounts for you, etc.
So you own a house and your partner moves in. They spend money making improvements and on repairs. You live happily together for some years and you tell them not to worry because half the house is theirs. Unfortunately, you die before you have updated your Will to make provision for them. What next?
If you are an animal lover like me you would have been outraged when you heard about the case of Illot v Mitson. This was the case where the mother, Mrs Jackson, left her estate of £486,000 to three charities; The Blue Cross, the RSPB and the RSPCA. Her daughter, Heather Illott, took the matter to court arguing that she had not received “reasonable financial provision”. This was despite being estranged from her mother for some 26 years. If the court disregarded the Will, where does that leave... well, basically everyone with a Will!