Dying is not something we like to think about, but it is going to happen to you one day. That is a fact! Dying without a Will is a very bad idea.. However, what if you don’t die? What if you are simply incapacitated and unable to either work and/or make your wishes known in respect of child care or the management of your assets?

Becoming incapacitated through an accident or ill health can lead to very significant problems both for you and your dependents. Many people assume, wrongly, that a spouse or parent will be able to access a person’s bank accounts and deal with financial and personal matters on behalf of a loved one if they become incapacitated. This is not the case.

In order for a loved one to act on behalf of an incapacitated person they must first gain power of attorney. This can be granted by a court, but it is much simpler and cheaper if we make arrangements prior to the event. A power of attorney will allow for specific people to act on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.

It is usual for a life insurance policy and/or critical illness, or ‘key man cover’ in the case of a business, to be put in place so that there is a pot of money available to replace your financial contribution in the event of your death or incapacitation. Statutory sick pay at the time of writing is just £88.45 per week. If you are self-employed ESA is just £73.10 a week; not much to live on!

A power of attorney can also make provision for your health care in the event that you are entirely incapacitated and can even make clear your wishes in the event that you are unlikely to recover. This will usually be taken into account by the courts when deciding on your future care or otherwise.

To speak to a Wills and Estate Planning adviser contact us on 01628 507477.

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