The torchlight shone directly into my eyes! A bit of a shock. I was awakening from a coma, in hospital, following a nasty motorbike accident.
As I regained my faculties, got used to all the various tubes keeping me alive, I wondered … What if I had remained unconscious? How would my partner have been able to access funds to pay the expenses involved in living and working abroad?
Even with a joint account, if one signatory is unable to sign as a consequence of an accident, the onset of dementia or anything else, the Bank will often restrict access to the account until the Court of Protection grants an order, which may take many months.
I'm passionate about ensuring people get the right advice to put arrangements in place. Control of their affairs in the event of illness or loss of mental capacity is critical. In some ways it is more important than having a Will. And you don't need to be retired to start thinking about it.
The impact on a Business should the Director not be able to act as a signatory on Bank Accounts, loan documents or contracted agreements can also be significant; continued ability to trade might be affected. On death, arrangements must be made to ensure family beneficiaries inherit a spouse/partner's share in the business while the remaining Partners/Directors maintain the ability to continue trading. Business property relief for inheritance tax purposes is also a consideration.
When arranging a Will it is important to ensure everything you have worked hard for is passed on to those you choose. Do not risk the assessment of your home for potential care home fees. Executors need to be clear on their responsibilities.
When engaging a Will Writer or arranging Lasting Power of Attorney, do ensure that individual is a Member of the Society of Will Writers. Take professional advice, ensure you protect and secure your family's inheritance.