John made a Power of Attorney when he was in his late thirties. At the time, he thought he was too young. He believed making a Power of Attorney was something only older people did in case they had to go into care or needed someone to look after their financial affairs. His wife, Jill, always the cautious one, had gone on and on about how he needed a Power of Attorney. Jill wanted to make sure she or someone else could look after John’s affairs for him if he was unable to do that – at least until he recovered and could deal with them himself again.
John owned his own business and travelled a lot to meet customers. One January night he was coming home from a customer visit. It was late and another driver skidded on black ice and hit John’s car head on. John and the other driver were badly injured. John had head as well as other injuries and the doctors decided to put him in an induced coma to preserve his life and aid his recovery. He was in a coma for around 12 weeks and had to go through many months in rehabilitation.
Jill was upset and very worried. She was very worried about John’s condition and his recovery prospects. She was also very concerned about his business. John was a sole trader and he was the only one who could sign any cheques, place orders, pay the wages and make decisions about the business. Thankfully, John had taken his wife’s advice and had created a Power of Attorney a few years before the accident. This meant Jill could step in and run the business during the time John was in hospital and when he was recovering. Whilst she couldn’t deal with the hands-on technical stuff, she knew enough about the business to deal with all the administrative tasks and decision-making. John’s staff took care of the rest.
Thankfully, John made a complete recovery and returned to run his business. He had to admit that his wife’s nagging about the Power of Attorney had paid off. Without it Jill couldn’t have easily stepped in to deal with the administration involved in his business.
As Jill said, “It was the little things that mattered – and not just the business things. Even though John has his business, there were personal decisions I had to make for him that had nothing to do with business. If it hadn’t been for the Power of Attorney, it would have been very difficult to get by”.
A Power of Attorney isn’t just for older people – it’s for anyone! You never know when you might suffer from an illness or have an accident that prevents you from looking after your own affairs.
If you would like to discuss making a Power of Attorney, please call us on 01698 373365 or click here to email us.