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WHERE THERE IS A WILL…..

28 February 2017
LINDSAY WRIGHT

From the desk of contributing editor John Zimnoch

 

WHERE THERE IS A WILL…..

There should always be a Power of Attorney. 

With the prominence of Dementia and Alzheimers in the senior's community, a will is of upmost  importance and wills should be reviewed at least every 5 years.

The absence of a will creates problems for both beneficiaries and executors; delays in time and expense, and worst of all having to deal with unnecessary red tape in the government. They are to be avoided at all costs; the stress is unbelievable.

Most important is a POWER OF ATTORNEY. When someone becomes incapable, they lose control of their financial affairs and bank accounts and investments are frozen – who then controls things? The government. There may be a situation where a spouse has no access to money without approval. More stress than you can believe at a time when family members with say Dementia are breaking your heart.

I have preached this for years but nobody takes much notice – they should! For example, couples should have mutual powers in case of road accidents, brain damage or Dementia.

To illustrate, last Thursday I was in the UK updating Will and POA for my Mum, 94. A family friend Bill, told me about a nightmare 6 months and $10,000 in legal costs to get control of his wife’s finances, she is in a home because of Dementia. I asked, “Have you a mutual POA with your son Mark?” (Bill has had a previous heart issue) “No“ he replied. “Well get one asap” says bossy boots me.

Travelling home at the weekend I got a message that Bill had been rushed to the hospital and was in intensive care! The good news yesterday was that, though still in the intensive care unit, he is less critical.

Have you made the appropriate Power of Attorney?