Who will fight for you?

If you are unable to fight for yourself, have you sat back and wondered who will fight for you?

It’s not something you want to leave to chance, and we’ll explain why shortly.

Something all of us have learned over the last two years, is that we cannot predict what is going to happen to us. Life has delivered the unexpected in so many ways to so many people.

You could be temporarily incapacitated – this would usually be a medical situation. You would need someone to make decisions for you, while you were not conscious and able to speak up for yourself. You need to be confident the person fighting for you is going to make the same decision you would.

If you are permanently unable to protect yourself, you need to be clear about what you would want to happen. Would you want to live in a residential home? Would you prefer care in your own home? Would you rather move to a home that is more suited to limited movement, and then have care support?

These questions are relevant because they are causing you to pause and think – what do I want? And if you’re needing to do that, imagine how it would feel if those decisions were left to somebody else.

In an ideal world you will have prepared for this situation, and implemented Lasting Powers of Attorney, both for your financial affairs and medical decisions.

But what if you haven’t?

The only way any financial matters can be managed is by somebody applying to the Court of Protection. This process can take anything from 12 weeks to 10 months – that could be too late in some circumstances.

Currently, the fee for applying is £371, with a further £494 payable for the hearing. However, for many, the paperwork and process is daunting, so they seek legal advice, which would incur additional costs, making it very costly.

Of course, that still doesn’t answer who will fight for you.

The person applying to the Court of Protection may not be your next of kin. Your spouse or partner may not be the right choice, but equally neither might your offspring.

It is up to the judge to make the decision, and it may not be your choice. In fact, it might not even be a relative or close friend, although that is most common. The deputy, or person appointed, could be a lawyer, accountant or local authority representative. In other words, your affairs could be managed by somebody who doesn’t know you well.

You need to reflect on who you would want to make decisions for you. It might be that a close friend would be a better choice than any family member. If you don’t set this up it is unlikely to happen, unless you have voiced your wishes clearly.

So, our advice is always to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney. We currently charge £300 + VAT to set this up, which we like to think is good value for your peace of mind.

If you would like to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact us on 01344 875 310.

Who will fight for you?