According to a worrying report by Scottish Widows, fewer than 50% of couples have a POA. Although most adults understand the document’s importance, 33 per cent don’t know how it is used in practice.

In addition, 24 per cent of adults say they have no plans to implement a POA, with many couples seeing this step as unnecessary. The research also shows that fewer than 50 per cent of heterosexual married couples are likely to give Power of Attorney to their spouse, compared with 74 per cent of same-sex married couples.

Rose St Louis, protection director at Scottish Widows, says: ‘Our research has shown that couples often overlook a crucial step in financial planning for the future and don’t set up a Power of Attorney. It can be difficult to have conversations about finances and preparing for the future, and financial advisers have a crucial role to play.

‘Whether it’s helping explain the practical benefits of setting up a Power of Attorney, outlining potential difficulties that may be avoided further down the line, or referring them to an estate planner or solicitor who can help with an application for Power of Attorney, clients value guidance they can trust.’

Why does it matter?

Unfortunately, you won’t know how important the Power of Attorney is until you haven’t got one. For example, if your partner has an accident or an illness and ends up with no mental capacity, whether temporary or permanent, you will not be able to make any decisions on their behalf. This applies both to matters of Finance and Property, and Health and Wellbeing.

So, if you have a joint bank account, the bank may restrict your access to essential use only until you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. If your partner has already lost capacity, you would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be a court-appointed Deputy. This will take time and cost more money than appointing an LPA.

20-week delay at the OPG

There is currently a 20-week delay to get an LPA registered at the Office of Public Guardian. So, don’t delay get it done today.


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