4 min read

Why You Need a Power of Attorney

How appointing a power of attorney can grant you peace of mind in a future filled with unknowns.


Your chance of making it to 85 is greater than ever before. But whilst modern medicine means you're more likely to grow grey and watch your grandkids grow up, the likelihood this might also happen with a dementia diagnosis, cognitive decline, or a stroke is also increasing. Nearly 1 in 10 people over 65 are currently facing dementia, the chances of having a stroke double every decade after 55 and you're more likely to reach the average age of 85 with severe cognitive impairment than not.

It’s terrifying and uncertain, and something we’d rather avoid thinking about all together. But with rising average age, comes the rising risk of a future where you're unable to make your own decisions. Where your legal, financial and medical outcomes are out of your hands, and potentially your families too.

Decisions on critical medical treatments, where you’ll live and how your life’s work will be protected may hang in the balance if you become incapacitated without a designated Power of Attorney. Leaving your family complex legal issues, large costs and damaging delays whilst trying to act in your best interest.

Assigning a Power of Attorney offers a glimmer of certainty and control when faced with these unknowns. Offering peace of mind with the assurance that everything from your finances, medical decisions and personal wishes are safeguarded in advance. Because whether facing dementia, a stroke or future accidents, none of us know where we’ll be further down the line. So, what is a power of attorney, and how can it benefit you, at any stage in life?

What is a Power of Attorney?

Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants a chosen person specific or general authority to act on your behalf for all kinds of legal, financial or medical decisions, should you lose capacity. Power of Attorney can be given to a family member, close friend or solicitor, and can be revoked by yourself at any time.

Why Power of Attorney is Important?

1. Peace of Mind

Losing capacity doesn’t have to mean losing the ability to choose your future. Assigning a power of attorney locks in a trusted person to steer your financial, legal and medical decisions in line with your priorities. Ensuring that no matter what happens, everything from the behind the scene finances, to your personal and end of life wishes are all taken care of.

2. Reduce the Family burden

In the absence of a predetermined Power of Attorney, your family is left with the costs and time delays of attending court to obtain this authority. Leaving health care arrangements, access to benefits and managing your investments all on pause amid an already stressful time. Assigning a Power of Attorney in advance safeguards these financial and medical needs for both yourself, but also your family. Allowing them to avoid the costs of attending probate court, and the stress of not being able to act on your behalf.

3. Ensure Continuity

What’s more, acting in advance opens a channel of communication with your family surrounding your end of life wishes and expectations. This avoids questions of intent, family disputes or claims of financial abuse if this authority is requested after you’ve lost capacity. Instead, allow your trustee to manage and maintain your finances and assets according to your wishes and without delay.

4. Flexibility

A Power of Attorney won't take the power from your hands. You choose who you grant authority to and what they will have control over. Whether you choose one or multiple, acting together or in succession, or with general or specific authority in different areas of your life, the decisions are made by you.

There's also freedom to revoke and make changes as you see fit, as well as the assurance that your wishes will be seen through even if you cannot do so yourself.

To Wrap Up:

Appointing a Power of Attorney is about providing insurance for your wishes, no matter what life throws at you. It's safeguarding your life's work, securing your priorities, and saving both time and money for those you care about the most.

Get started with Safewill today, to ensure your assets and interests are managed and maintained in a future where you might not be able to do so.

For more information on coping or preparing for end of life matters, Safewill can help. Get in touch today for a one-to-one on 1800 103 310 , or start a chat with us online.

Last updated 13th December 2022
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Hannah Comiskey
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Safewill is an online service providing streamlined forms and information. Safewill is not a law firm or a substitute for a lawyer’s advice about complex estate planning issues.