It would be interesting to create a poll and see if people in Great Britain feel safer today than they have compared to any time in the past. Chances are somebody may have done that already. A more compelling question would be, are we safer today than we were, say, 300 years ago? There is no doubt that we live in a world that is completely different from those times. Are we better off? Most experts would argue that we have more time off, more leisure activities to choose from, and that given our current obsession with electronic gadgets, from televisions to smartphones, access to more information than even the King did three centuries ago.
Modern technology has given us a level of sophistication that was undreamed of just a few generations ago. Between the automobile, airplanes and the Internet, we are more mobile and interconnected than ever before. Modern medical advances have also allowed the median age to constantly rise, so we’re living longer. But we are still not immune from life-threatening diseases, random accidents, or even criminal assaults. We could find ourselves substantially incapacitated, through no fault of our own. In these cases it always good to know that one has a power of attorney that they had previously executed, so that life for themselves and their family can go on.
Modern Medical Science Cannot Fully Protect Us
There may come a day, when today’s major medical challenges, such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s, AIDS and other diseases that are either communicable or degenerative, can be completely eradicated. We have been able in the last century to virtually eliminate the scourge of polio from the planet, so it is just a question of letting medical science advance a little further. But for the moment, these elements can afflict just about anyone, often without notice. Depending on the severity of the disease, one can find themselves practically incapacitated, potentially unable to move or even speak. That is why having a document that designates someone as your legal representative can be crucial. It allows them to act as you, ensuring that monthly household bills such as utilities, mortgages and even access to your personal bank accounts can continue without any interruption.
Trust Is Key
Just as you wouldn’t turn over the keys to your house to a total stranger, you shouldn’t provide a power of attorney to someone who you don’t trust completely. After all, they are going to have the fate of you and your family in their hands, to a large extent. If you can identify a person who not only you trust, perhaps having known them for a long time, and you know also has a good head for finance and business, you have probably found the perfect combination. There is a lot more involved than just making sure the monthly household bills get paid. Whoever you designate is also going to have to ensure that there is sufficient monthly income generated, either from investments, or a disability fund, or some other source, so that you and your family can continue to live in relative comfort. They may also have to decide for you, if you didn’t specify it yourself, what types of treatments you should be allowed to undertake for your particular illness or injury. These types of issues can have long-term implications, so it is important that someone with a level head be charged with making these types of important decisions.
Nobody wants to think that they’re going to wind up spending the rest the days in a hospital, or nursing home, due to some unfortunate circumstance. And yet it can happen, and one needs to be prepared for that eventuality. Therefore, preparing a power of attorney is a crucial step in making sure that life can continue as normally as possible for oneself and one’s family in the event that disaster strikes.