Arranging a power of attorney
Managing all your different sources of money doesn’t stop once you have retired.
Why you need a lasting power of attorney
You will always need to manage your money, even in cases when you are unable to do so.
Whether you’re getting older, fallen ill or been in a life-changing accident having a lasting power of attorney in these instances is very important. You are unfortunately more likely to suffer physical or mental disability that could impact your ability to manage your own financial affairs and could mean that you may no longer be able to take those decisions yourself. You may need your partner or someone else to help or make decisions on your behalf.
For instance, as you age, the risk of developing dementia doubles roughly every five years. There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.
Equally, some serious physical illnesses such as cancer, strokes, or an accident, might mean that you may be unable to look after your money.
If you developed a serious illness or were involved in an accident and lost mental capacity, not even your spouse would be able to make vital decisions about your affairs. For example, if you had a drawdown pension, they wouldn’t be able to access your pension or money in investments – which could create difficulties in an already stressful period.
You should set up a lasting power of attorney in case you become physically or mentally unable to manage your own finances.
Lasting power of attorney (LPA)
An LPA is a legal document to let you (called the donor) choose others (known as attorneys) to help you make or take decisions on your behalf about your health, welfare, finances and property if you no longer have the capacity to do it yourself.
You should appoint someone you trust, such as a family member, friend, or solicitor who would then take over if you can no longer make decisions. Anyone you choose should be capable of making that decision themselves, which you may want to consider if they are a similar age to you already.
How to set up an LPA
Many people don’t set up an Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), despite the benefit of having one set up before you fall ill or lose capacity in some way. It is strongly advisable to have this in place before any loss of capacity occurs. If you don’t set one up, your loved ones may have to call on the Courts and undergo a potentially lengthy and expensive process to obtain control of your finances.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
- Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
Set up either type of LPA yourself by creating an online account here, the only costs to you will be the court application fee. Visit the Government's Office of the Public Guardian for a guide on LPA, including how the system is different in Scotland.
A solicitor can also set up an LPA for you. They will charge a fee in addition to the court application fee.
You should consider seeking legal advice as these forms can be complex and a solicitor can help you decide on the right level of LPA for you.
After you have set up your LPA you should inform us by:
Sending your documents
Once you have set up your LPA, you should let us know by sending us the original or certified copy by post.
1. The documents are stamped by the Public Office of Guardian.
2. Signed and Dated by the Power of Attorney and the Policyholder .
Alternatively, we can view the POA online if it was registered after November 2019, however, you would need to provide us with the personal code in order for us to view it.
When ready Post to:
Scottish Widows Limited
PO Box 24171
69 Morrison Street
Once we have received your documents we will cross check them to make sure they meet the requirements and if everything looks in order we will confirm the changes.
What to do if your situation changes
What happens if I or the appointed person changes address?
You’ll need to tell us if this happens. Please call us, write to us or let us know on the form here: https://adviser.scottishwidows.co.uk/forms/change-of-address.html
What happens when a marriage or civil partnership ends and your partner is your appointed person?
If you and your appointed person are married or in a civil partnership. Please call us or write to us to let us know.
What happens if the appointed person dies?
You must notify us if your appointed person passes away and supply us with the death certificate or updated lasting power of attorney document stamped by the Office of the Public Guardian.
1 in 6
The estimated number of people over 80 in the UK that dementia affects.
Source: Alzheimer’s Society (July 2021)