I have read that if Mum loses mental capacity I will not be able to speak on her behalf about her care and medical treatment without having a lasting power of attorney in place

Here are just a few of the matters that have concerned you this month.

My Mum and I have always been very close and there has only ever been the two of us. I have read that if Mum loses mental capacity I will not be able to speak on her behalf about her care and medical treatment without having a lasting power of attorney in place. Is this the case?

Yes I am afraid so. No matter how close you are to the person you are caring for you should always have a lasting power of attorney in place for health and welfare as well as property and financial affairs particularly if your mother is now getting on a little. Without such a document there is always a risk that the organisations with whom you might deal in the future may well proceed to organise care, treatment or a nursing home for Mum in the event of her ill health without considering your wishes

My Dad has had a stroke and is not able to get out of the house at the moment. I appreciate it takes a long time to make a lasting power of attorney in relation to property and financial affairs. Is there anything I can do whilst the lasting power of attorney is being made and registered?

Yes. Dad could ask his bank to appoint a member of his family as a third party on his accounts. Some banks may require Dad to visit and so this will be difficult. Some banks will allow you to take a form away for Dad’s signature. An alternative is to make a general power of attorney which is a short instantaneous document lasting for a shorter period allowing an attorney to act on Dad’s behalf normally until the lasting power of attorney has been registered

My husband has to move into a nursing home as I am no longer able to look after him. I am worried that I may have to sell our home in order to pay the nursing home fees.

I am sorry your husband has not been well. As you are continuing to live in your home then the value of it will not be taken into account as capital belonging to your husband when deciding how much he has to pay for his own nursing home fees. The value of your home is completely ignored whilst you are living there and so no-one will be able to make you sell it. You do need to take advices about the steps you can take to preserve your home in the event of you dying before your husband or you moving into long term care and I would be more than happy to visit you at home to discuss that

My son is getting married later on this year and I am wondering whether there is anything that can be done to protect some capital that we gave to him last year to purchase a larger property in the event of him getting divorced?

Yes your son and his future wife could enter into a pre-nuptial agreement to preserve their capital if the worst happens.

At Dixon Stewart we are happy to help you with all the above matters and many more so do get in touch if you need any help on enquiry@dixonstewart.com or by calling Helen Stewart on 01425 279222

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