Power of Attorney

Do you need a power of attorney if you are married? All assets are jointly held so I’m not sure what the benefits would be? 


  • RASRAS Forumite
    31.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Do you want decisions about where you end up in care, what health care you receive to be made by anyone in particular?

    What happens when the first spouse dies, and the other one lacks mental capacity? Do you want decisions made by Social Services or a family member? 

    And deputyship (the alternative) takes a lot longer to arrange, costs a lot more in fees and is far more onerous regarding management. Your deputy won't thank you for failing to put in place a power of attorney.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    More immediately, having all assets jointly held doesn't necessarily help if one of you becomes incapacitated. 

    It is a horror story, and therefore rare, but the one I have heard involves a couple with young children, where the husband was self-employed. He had an accident, was hospitalised and in a coma. Wife rang the bank to explain and ask for payment holiday on the mortgage, overdraft etc, and ... the bank froze the joint account, to protect the interests of the husband. 

    Which is the correct action to take. A joint account is only appropriate where both parties are able to make decisions / look after it. 

    Of course what more often happens is that one half of a couple gently slides into a lack of capacity. The other picks up the slack, takes over the reins, and the bank never notices. But it's a risk, especially if the second person then loses the plot. 

    Which reminds me, it's on the To Do list of a dear friend. I need to gently enquire how they're getting on. They really do need it: living alone, no close relatives - so if they need an advocate, for anything, they need the LPA for Wealth and Health IMO. 

    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
    13.4K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    You should make LPAs especially for finance. If for example one of you lost mental capacity through a stroke or accident you life could be made very difficult. Under these circumstances you might need to move into more suitable accommodation but you would not be able to sell you existing home without obtaining deputyship, which is a long winded and expensive process.

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