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1 Wednesday, August 14, 2019 13:32

VICTORIA BISCHOFF: Don't delay setting up power of attorney

We all put things off. At school, I wound my mother up something rotten by routinely leaving coursework or revision until the last minute.Inevitably, there would then be panic, and mum would stay up all night making cups of coffee while I sat at the computer — a familiar childhood scene, I’m sure.But even as adults, we are not much better.

Every year, around 30,000 people wait until the final hour before the January 31 deadline to file their tax return.

Dont delay: It is tempting to think that you don’t need to organise power of attorney until you’re olderWe put off opening bank statements, taking meter readings, checking our tax code and all sorts of other tedious tasks.

But if Samantha Partington’s moving account teaches us anything, there are some jobs you just cannot delay — and setting up power of attorney is one of them. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next
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Most people who invest a pension have no failsafe against... Share this article Share HOW THIS IS MONEY CAN HELP What you need to know each week: Listen to the This is Money podcast Power of attorney is a vital document that enables someone you trust to manage your affairs in the event you are unable to do so.

It is just as important as making a will — perhaps even more so, as this is about what will happen to your finances while you’re alive.It is tempting to think that you don’t need to organise power of attorney until you’re much older. But I recall a devastating case recently where a new mother suffered a stroke after giving birth and was in a coma for weeks.

Without power of attorney, her partner found he was unable to access any money to pay the bills as everything was in her name. The good news is that the number of people registering power of attorney has risen over the past few years.But according to the Office of the Public Guardian, around 75 per cent of people still wrongly believe their partners or close family members can automatically make decisions for them if they are not able to — which is not the case.

So why not make a little time now, while there is no pressure, to get organised? That way, you and your loved ones will at least have one less thing to worry about should the worst happen.Widows’ scamOur investigation into the criminal gangs targeting widows online is terrifying. It used to be the case that romance scammers would predominantly target people using dating websites.

 Today, they will hunt down victims on any website or mobile phone app that connects you with others — social media, fitness apps, even online support groups.As is often the case, older people who are perhaps new to the internet or live alone are most at risk.It’s vital you stay on your guard and treat anyone you meet on the web as you would a smooth-talking.

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