“That was my first instinct — to protect him. It never occurred to me that there was a greater need to protect myself…….”

Sarah-Varani-150x150You’ve written your will and are happy that you have protected your nearest and dearest after you have passed away but what about looking after yourself during your lifetime?

A lasting power of attorney is specifically designed to protect you during your lifetime should you ever lose capacity due to accident, illness, infirmity or old age (or if you just can’t be bothered with the hassle of managing your own affairs at some stage in the future). Whilst we all hope the worst will never happen unfortunately one of those events is likely to happen to most people.

By 2025, more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. One in five people over 85 already suffers from it, with rates significantly higher among women than men.

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) should be seen simply as a piece of insurance providing protection that you may need at some stage in the future and something that protects your wishes it is very important if you are a couple but is absolutely vital if you are single.

There are two different types of lasting power of attorney:

•    health and welfare
•    property and financial affairs

It is up to you whether you decide to make one type or both but you must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your LPA(s). You may need a court-appointed deputy instead if you’re not able to make your own decisions.
Continue reading ““That was my first instinct — to protect him. It never occurred to me that there was a greater need to protect myself…….””

How much is compliance costing you?

Debbie-Haskell-150x150Its official; the costs of compliance has risen sharply between 2011 and 2013. The impact of this was most noticeable for SME’s, with the Forum of Small Businesses (FSB) reporting that its member’s costs had risen by £18.2 billion. Larger businesses are also affected with the EEF echoing similar findings in its published report for 2013. Whilst this may not come as a surprise to some, it seems to stand in stark contrast to the Governments promise to cut red tape.

Health and Safety, Employment Law and Tax were the major compliance costs identified last year; the biggest bill for SME’s was tax compliance which had risen to £6 billion. This may be due to the introduction of Real Time PAYE which HMRC estimated would cost businesses approximately £110 million for 2013-2014 but which has been independently reported as costing more akin to £311 million during the same period – perhaps offering some small triumph to the schemes critics.
Continue reading “How much is compliance costing you?”