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COVID-19 and Powers of Attorney

COVID-19 and Powers of Attorney

None of us could have imagined that almost a year after we first heard the words “Covid-19” that we would still be under such restrictions, the impact this would have on the NHS and the long term effects of Covid-19.

Hearing so many families losing loved ones and the long-term effect Covid-19 has had on their lives is distressing.  However it does highlight the importance of having a Power of Attorney in place.  Too often we hear of a husband and wife with separate bank accounts - where one of them becomes ill and the other isn’t able to deal with their accounts, their bills and other important matters at what is already a traumatic time.  So, alongside the worries of their loved ones health they now have to worry about their finances. This would not be the case if only a Power of Attorney had been granted.

A Power of Attorney is a protective document to be used if/when you are unable to make decisions relating to your property, finances and/or personal welfare.  Unless you grant a Power of Attorney no-one (yes, this includes your spouse/civil partner, children, parents) has legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.  If someone needs to step in to act on your behalf and you do not have a Power of Attorney in place your loved one would require to go through a court process known as guardianship which can take months to complete. 

Granting a Power of Attorney is a fairly straightforward process and can still be done whilst lockdown measures are in place.  You can provide a solicitor with your instructions, they prepare the documents and send them out to you and a face-to-face meeting or video call can be arranged to oversee signature of the document.  Once signed the Power of Attorney document can be held by your solicitor until it is required (which may of course be never) but you will have the peace of mind that knowing your affairs are in order and your loved ones will not have unnecessary stress at an already stressful time. 

Should you wish to speak to a member of our experienced team about granting a power of attorney, acting as an attorney or making a guardianship application we would be happy to help. 

Written by : Lynne Lind