The recent Covid-19 pandemic has brought about monumental changes in our usual habits and behaviours and whilst the social distancing and self-isolation shielding may have helped to reduce the spread of the virus, it has also resulted in some people struggling to manage day to day tasks.
Going to the shops to buy groceries, visiting the bank to pay bills and picking up prescriptions from the chemist may be things we did without too much thought before the pandemic. However, after the Government wrote to an estimated 1.5 million of the most vulnerable in our society, advising them not to leave their homes; and with others choosing or having to self-isolate, many people have been left questioning how to organise tasks that would normally be second nature.
Volunteer groups have emerged throughout the country, offering help and support to make life easier for those isolating in the community. Whilst this has been a lifeline for many, there is the concern that there are no formal arrangements in place for paying for groceries, or handling monetary transactions on someone’s behalf and so this does not necessarily offer a safe long-term solution for those who may not able to leave their house for many months.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone you trust to safely make decisions for you and manage financial transactions if you become unable to do so, or if you need help in making decisions.
The Office of the Public Guardian, (the Government body who manages and registers Lasting Powers of Attorney) has this month confirmed they will continue to deliver services and support those at most risk in society, who are planning for the future.
That organisation issued a statement to say, “if you are shielding or self-isolating, there are ways you can allow someone else to manage your property and financial affairs. Contact your local solicitor for more details”.
Significant life events are often triggers that prompt people to think about putting their affairs in order. Putting in place Powers of Attorney to provide assistance and protection is something that requires careful thought and planning to ensure the documents are legally binding and that the right people are involved.
Get in Touch
Barrett and Co are here to support you during this difficult time. If you would like to discuss instructions for Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate or any other such matters please do not hesitate to telephone 0118 958 9711 or email [email protected] and someone from the team will be in touch to assist you.
Contact Juliette Spanner, ACILEx in the Private Client Department at Barrett and Co.