Greetings from Edinburgh Solicitors Blair Cadell. "Welfare" and "incapacity" - words that may tend to be associated more in the public mind with the prospect of state provision or benefits claimants, rather than with the practical challenges of caring for a family member or loved-one suffering from a sudden or unexpected personal impairment. It is perhaps for this reason that the sorts of provisions that can be made to reduce - or even remove altogether - the often negative financial and other stresses that can descend when least wanted, such as a Welfare Power of Attorney, are so relatively infrequently put in place.
In a recent report, The Daily Mail said that three in five individuals will find themselves becoming a carer at some time. When they do, they are often required to look after money and/or make important personal care decisions if the person for whom they are caring has cognitive problems
A frequent refrain from carers struggling with banks and other institutions on behalf of an incapacitated relative or friend is that "I wish that a Power of Attorney had been done when it could have been" - elderly care solcitors.
"It's not as difficult or complex as it may sound" says Blair Cadell's Donald Jardine, specialist solicitor in the firm's dedicated Personal legal department. It should be a routine procedure for everyone, "a review of Wills and other personal legal affairs, whatever a client's age or stage should include consideration of a Power of Attorney as a just-in-case insurance against unforeseen events"
Of course whilst a Power of Attorney will go a long way to mitigate future problems, not all challenges will be immediately overcome. The Daily Mail points out that even those with Powers of Attorney in place can still encounter problems and may require the help of solicitors. Andrew Chidgey, of the Alzheimer's Society is quoted as saying that "Very often carers are met with bank cashiers who don't understand or accept the [Power of Attorney]. We'd like to see improvements across all banks in terms of staff training and more flexible systems". It is Blair Cadell's objective to provide the very sort of assistance that may be required in such circumstances. As Donald Jardine says "The completion of a Power of Attorney at an early stage and its proper management when invoked goes a long way to easing the practical difficulties that can come with ill health"
For more information on Powers of Attorney visit our Personal legal page which includes detailed guidance and cost illustrations.
Blair Cadell are experienced solicitors commercial leases experts, elederly care solicitors, edinburgh estate agents