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 Your partner needs help with their financial affairs, but
can you assist?
Guidance from Holmes & Hills
 Commonly with married couples or those in a long- term relationship they each have assets in their own name and in joint names
(e.g. bank accounts and the family home). This often leads people to think that they can manage the financial affairs of their spouse or partner, or could do if the need arose; however, this is not the case. Unfortunately, should your spouse or partner become unable to manage their affairs themselves due to ill-health or injury, their individual bank accounts are
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likely to be effectively frozen and you will not be able to deal with organisations on their behalf.
What is needed to be able to help
To assist with your spouses or partners affairs during their lifetime you will need to have been appointed as an Attorney. This means your spouse or partner will need to have made Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). If LPAs have not been made you will not be able to deal with organisations on their behalf.
“Without an LPA in place, relatives are not able to make these decisions. Doctors, nurses, medical practitioners or Social Services would make them instead.”
What happens if I do not have LPAs?
Many people need to assist with these matters because their spouse or partner has become unable to manage their affairs themselves. This may be due to physical or mental incapacity, perhaps due to illness or an accident. If you want to help your partner with financial decisions and they did not have Powers of Attorney in place and were incapable of making them, you would need to make a costly application to the Court to obtain the necessary authority. The Court application takes several months and can be stressful and frustrating for those involved. Until the Court authorises your application you are unable to deal with their money and property.
Two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
LPAs are important documents that allow someone to give people (often close relatives or friends) the authority to make certain decisions on their behalf. There are two types of LPA:
Property and Financial Affairs LPA – which allows an attorney to manage and deal with finances and property related matters (such as selling a home).
Health and welfare LPA – which allows an attorney to make decisions regarding health and personal welfare. This type of LPA only comes into effect when a person no longer has the capacity to make such decisions themselves.
People often think that if necessary, they would be able to make decisions about where their spouse or partner receives care, what type of care they receive and whether or not they should receive life- sustaining treatment. Without an LPA in place, relatives are not able to make these decisions. Doctors, nurses, medical practitioners or Social Services would make them instead.
Discuss Powers of Attorney for yourself or your partner
To talk to a local lawyer about Lasting Powers of Attorney and to find out whether you or a relative should have them, call Holmes & Hills Solicitors and ask to speak with Deborah Abbott or Dean Stanhope.
















































































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