On the willwriting circuit you hear a few horror stories, but this one, from a training webinar I was on recently, might be one of the worst I’ve heard:
Mr Willwriter writes wills for Mr and Mrs Jones (made-up name). He suggests they do Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) too, but they don’t see it as necessary right now (they’re still only 45 years old, after all!).
Fast forward 10 years, Mr Willwriter picks up the phone and Mrs Jones is on the line – and angry does not cover it!
Since they last spoke, Mr Jones had an accident causing terrible injuries, leading to a loss of mobility and mental capacity. They need to downsize to a bungalow. The sale of their house and purchase of the new house is all set to go through, when their solicitor tells Mrs Jones that she and her husband need to come to the office and sign the contracts.
Now how the solicitor ever let it get this far, I don’t know, but Mrs Jones says “My husband doesn’t understand anything anymore, he can’t sign anything.” The dumbstruck solicitor asks if she has Power of Attorney for him so she can sign on his behalf.
“No.” “Then we can’t proceed with the houses.”
Mrs Jones calls up Mr Willwriter and demands to know why he didn’t stress to them the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney (“I did!”) – and it’s too late to rectify this, because now Mr Jones does not have sufficient mental capacity to make them anyway.
Since hearing this story, I give every new client a few minutes’ talk about Lasting Powers of Attorney when I meet them to discuss their wills, rather than just mentioning LPAs as an add-on service. My own LPAs are going through right now (physician, heal thyself!). We never know what is around the corner.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are like an insurance policy. You hope you’ll never need them, but if you do, you’ll be very glad they are there. And if you need them and don’t have them… it’s too late.
But unlike an insurance policy, they are done once and unless anything major changes, then they are done for the rest of your life.
Get in touch to talk about creating your Lasting Powers of Attorney.