Concerns over trusting dishonest relatives with their money are stopping one in three middle-aged people from making financial arrangements for their later years.
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Giving someone power of attorney is the recognised way of appointing a trusted person to manage someone’s finances once they can no longer do so themselves.
But 79% of over 45s do not have a lasting power of attorney in place because of their lack of trust.
The numbers do not improve as people age – 74% of those aged between 65 and 74 and 67% aged 75 to 84 have not agreed to give someone power of attorney either.
Lack of trust
A third of over 45s say they have someone in mind in their family who they could not rely on to effectively manage their money, said a survey by Co-op Legal Services.
And 56% confessed they felt they could never fully trust their family to look after their finances.
One in 10 (14%) feel their loved one isn’t responsible with their own money, so couldn’t trust them to manage theirs. Another one in 10 (11%) said they’d worry that their family member would borrow money without returning it.
Almost a third (29%) wouldn’t trust a friend to manage their finances. One in five (19%) would have concerns over a brother or sister managing their money and another one in five (18%) wouldn’t trust a son or daughter.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Despite this, 37% of adults who haven’t appointed a power of attorney say they intend to, but a third (35%) say they’re not interested in doing so.
James Antoniou, head of wills at the Co-op said: “It’s concerning that so many people are not protecting themselves by properly planning ahead for later life.
“While our research shows that part of the reason is due to people not knowing who to fully trust to make important decisions on their behalf, there is clearly still a serious lack of awareness of the importance and benefits of putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
“A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legally recognised way for a person to choose trusted individuals to make decisions about their finances and also their personal welfare which, most importantly, continues in force even after that person becomes unable to make such decisions themselves.”
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