Power of Attorney and Deputyships
A Power of Attorney is the legal document that you can use to officially appoint a friend or relative to help you to manage your finances with your consent, or to take over looking after your finances and make health and welfare decisions when you are no longer able to make decisions yourself.
Unless you have appointed an attorney, if something happens that prevents you from looking after your own affairs, no one, not even a relative is legally entitled to access your money, even if it is to pay for your care. Not even your spouse can access your money unless it is held in a joint account. Money or investments held in your sole name and even your property, if held as Tenants in Common, cannot be dealt with unless you have the appropriate legal documents in place.
In the UK someone develops dementia every three minutes, and there are other reasons why you may lose the ability to look after yourself temporarily or permanently, for example, an accident or sudden illness.
Unless you have a Power of Attorney already, anyone that wants to help you will have to apply through the court to be appointed as your deputy, a process which can be long and costly.
If you change your mind about who you have appointed as your attorney, there is a formal process to revoke the LPA.