No matter the plans we make for life, sometimes things don’t work out as we hope they would. This is especially true when it comes to ill health and old age.
Kent accountants forprobate services, often get asked these common questions, will my spouse have automatic power of attorney should I not be able to make decisions anymore?
What is a power of attorney?
There can be situations when you cannot make decisions for yourself anymore. This could be decisions about your financial situation or decisions that relate to your welfare and wellbeing. If this is true for you, you will want someone you can trust and have your best intentions at heart to make them for you.
This is where the idea of a power of attorney comes in. This is someone who you appoint as your deputy, who will be able to make key decisions for you when you cannot.
Isn’t that going to be my partner?
It is a common misconception that power of attorney will instantly be your spouse. However, this is not the case; it needs to be legal action for someone to be appointed. Without this, the court will appoint someone on your behalf, and they could be a complete and utter stranger to you.
This is even true if you are married to one another.
What can they do if this does happen?
If it gets to the stage where you cannot make these key decisions and your partner wants to take charge of them, then there is something that they can do. After you have become incapacitated, your partner will need to go to court and apply for legal authority on behalf of the person to gain power of attorney.
Despite the fact that it is possible to do this, it is essential to note that this can be a lengthy and complicated process and one that is expensive.
You should ask yourself whether your partner will be able to deal with this side of things whilst also being worried about you and your wellbeing. The chances are that they will not be able to do both.
It is also worth noting that even though the person applying for power of attorney is your partner, this does not mean that they automatically will be granted it, which can be upsetting for you both.
Don’t delay this decision
As you can see, it is important that you make sure that you appoint a power of attorney as soon as you can. You don’t know what will happen in the future, and you won’t want to put your partner through this kind of situation later on in time.
If you are not sure about the process or simply want some support as you move through it talk to Kent tax advisors as they specialise in estates and probate and can ensure that you get the help you need now and in the future.