It’s the next of kin who makes that difficult decision, isn’t it?  Surprisingly, the answer is often that the husband, wife, partner or family members may not the ones who make that decision.

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Research* indicates that there is a significant section of society who haven’t even considered the importance of later life planning.  Whilst most of us understand the importance of making a Will (and maybe still haven’t actually got around to making one!) there is much less understanding of the need and uses for making Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPA). Over a third of respondents had not even heard of an LPA and were unaware of the potential importance it may have for planning their later life.

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This could affect you.

Separate accounts? Separate property? Separate children? These days, it’s not only our families that are more complicated, but also our finances.  It’s quite common for couples to separate their finances, or some of them.  Even if you have joint bank accounts, there may be separate ISAs and savings, credit cards, bills, investments, pensions, etc.  Even if you have a joint bank account, if one of you loses capacity (for example has dementia) the bank can freeze the joint account and ask the remaining partner to apply to the Court of Protection to allow them access to the money.

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What’s the difference between a Will and a Power of Attorney?

Will:  a legal document which deals with the disposal of a person’s estate when they die.
Power of Attorney: a legal document which appoints an Attorney to act on behalf of someone else whilst they are still living, but unable to deal with matters themselves – ie., due to losing their mental capacity or because they need to delegate the responsibility due to physical incapacity or other reason.

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Pension Freedoms and the importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney

Do you have a drawdown pension?  Or are you a financial adviser for clients with pensions? Four out of five retirees (79%) using pension freedoms to manage their retirement savings face a potential ‘later-life financial crisis’ as they have not yet set up Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), Zurich has warned.

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