Martin Lewis: Why Power of Attorney is not just for the elderly – and more important than a will

Do you have a Power of Attorney? MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis explains how this crucial protection works, why it's more important than a will, and how to get one in the latest episode of ITV's The Martin Lewis Money Show Live.

Watch the clip here:

Martin Lewis: Do you have a Power of Attorney? It's crucial protection – not just for the elderly – and more important than a will

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  • pseudodox
    pseudodox Posts: 262
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    edited 28 November 2023 at 6:05PM
    It is very sound advice, but what does someone getting on in years do if they have no younger family members (children, neices, nephews) or any close friends who have younger members of their family who could be approached.  When everyone even remotely close enough to be trusted with a person's finances are almost the same age as themselves who do you appoint?
  • mebu60
    mebu60 Posts: 820
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    pseudodox said:
    It is very sound advice, but what does someone getting on in years do if they have no younger family members (children, neices, nephews) or any close friends who have younger members of their family who could be approached.  When everyone even remotely close enough to be trusted with a person's finances are almost the same age as themselves who do you appoint?
    You can appoint someone or multiple someones and you can nominate replacement attorneys too should the original someone(s) be no longer available. That should suffice to cover them being a similar age. 

    Not just finance but health too. Get several attorneys for the latter if you can, you don't know who may be available at a particular key moment. 
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,320
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    pseudodox said:
    It is very sound advice, but what does someone getting on in years do if they have no younger family members (children, neices, nephews) or any close friends who have younger members of their family who could be approached.  When everyone even remotely close enough to be trusted with a person's finances are almost the same age as themselves who do you appoint?
    You can appoint a solicitor, although obviously it will be more costly.


    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,332
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    I've tried that but they weren't willing.
    May have to ask again.

    No family, my 5 long standing friends all passed away after the pandemic.
    It's my biggest worry and I'm not so very old. 
    So any advice would be welcomed.

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,320
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    Who wasn’t willing? The solicitor? 
    You may need to find a more specialist one.

    And with regard to health and welfare, if you make an advance decision that covers a lot of bases. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • twopenny said:
    I've tried that but they weren't willing.
    May have to ask again.

    No family, my 5 long standing friends all passed away after the pandemic.
    It's my biggest worry and I'm not so very old. 
    So any advice would be welcomed.
    We are in the same boat.  No family, other than cousins older than me & who I rarely have contact with & who have their own problems in old age.  Most close friends have passed away in recent years.  Remaining ones don't want the responsibility.  You have to grant LPA to someone you can trust absolutely so I don't really feel a random solicitor is suitable, when they know nothing about me.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,320
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    edited 28 November 2023 at 10:05PM
    pseudodox said:
    twopenny said:
    I've tried that but they weren't willing.
    May have to ask again.

    No family, my 5 long standing friends all passed away after the pandemic.
    It's my biggest worry and I'm not so very old. 
    So any advice would be welcomed.
    We are in the same boat.  No family, other than cousins older than me & who I rarely have contact with & who have their own problems in old age.  Most close friends have passed away in recent years.  Remaining ones don't want the responsibility.  You have to grant LPA to someone you can trust absolutely so I don't really feel a random solicitor is suitable, when they know nothing about me.
    If you lose capacity and have enough assets that a financial deputyship is required then an application would be made the court of protection anyway, and you would still end up with some random solicitor.

    At least with the LPA you have the opportunity to suss them out and have conversations with them first about what you might want.. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • So it might as well be a random solicitor who takes over if I lose my marbles as by then I won't be concerned as to whether I have made the right choice.  I am more comfortable with that scenario than advance conversations with a total stranger about my private financial circumstances.
  • POA is good in theory. However in my own experience I had POA for my father with 2 others, but they worked together, kept information from me and prevented me from being involved in any decisions for his welfare. This has not ended well. Unfortunately family cannot always be trusted, I don’t know what the answer is.
  • Wibb55 said:
    POA is good in theory. However in my own experience I had POA for my father with 2 others, but they worked together, kept information from me and prevented me from being involved in any decisions for his welfare. This has not ended well. Unfortunately family cannot always be trusted, I don’t know what the answer is.
    I also had a difficult situation in my family.  I had financial POA for my mother and as I lived 250 miles away my sister,  who lived across the road from her,  had the welfare option.  She only took action which suited her plus would help herself to cash from Mum's purse supposedly for shopping but not account for it to me.  If I remonstrated there would be repercussions for Mum whose final years were miserable enough without being made worse so I had to tread eggshells.  Since she passed away I have had nothing more to do with my sister - she may even be dead herself by now - who I could never forgive for the mental abuse she meted out behind the scenes whilst giving the wider world the impression she was a caring daughter.

    I would rather end up totally ga-ga being fleeced by a randomly appointed solicitor than by someone I had thought I could trust but who abused that trust whilst I still had enough capacity to realise it but not enough to challenge it.
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