Holiday Preparations – Power of Attorney?

Passports, tickets, money – check. Power of Attorney? Will?

The last 2 items might not seem the most essential when you’re preparing to jet off on holiday, but in fact, they could be the 2 most important documents.

As well as the more common hazards faced by holiday makers such as losing your wallet or passport, being robbed, or suffering an injury and being detained in a foreign hospital, we now have the additional risk of the erupting Volcano in Iceland disrupting flights and causing chaos.

Since the volcano began erupting in March 2010, and with no end in sight, it is an all too familiar tale of individuals being stranded and struggling to make alternative travel arrangements. Keeping financial status quo at home, continuing with house purchases and sales, and trying to maintain a business and extend insurance cover are all unnecessary burdens.

Due to Data Protection, Banks and other Organisations will not allow next of kin or relatives access to your finances, unless you have made a Power of Attorney (POA). A general POA can be prepared to give power to an individual to deal with your finances and property. These can be limited to a certain period of time or the accounts you wish your attorney to access. POA’s can cost as little as £150 + vat to prepare, a small price to ensure piece of mind at home and for your business.

Before heading off on holiday, as morbid as it may be, it is important to consider preparing a will, as the reality of an Intestate estate, should something happen to you, can be far more disturbing. The archaic intestacy laws do not recognise unmarried couples and could lead to your estate being distributed vastly different to what you would want.

Here are just some of the other circumstances which are not catered for if you die without making a Will:

  • Your spouse or Civil Partner will not necessarily inherit all of your estate.

  • The Crown takes you estate if you have no living relatives.

  • A former spouse will inherit under Intestacy if you are not divorced.

  • Stepchildren or partners will not inherit.

Wills cost from as little as £130 + vat per person, but can give you the piece of mind you need to ensure an enjoyable holiday.

To discuss a General Power of Attorney or Making a Will, please contact Melanie Cotterill or Samantha Buckthought at Wolferstans Solicitors of 60-66 North Hill, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8EP on 01752 663295. We also have an office at 7 Radford Park Road, Plymstock, Plymouth, Devon, PL9 9DG.

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