“It’s fine – there’s four of you so when we die everything will be divided equally between you all.”

Have you ever had that response from a parent when you bring up the dreaded discussion of them writing a Will?

And then try and bring up Power of Attorney too! It is a great conversation ender rather than starter!

I think when you have children of your own you become a little bit more sensible and even wise! 

Then you realise your parents are getting older and nobody knows what the future holds.

What would happen if they both fell ill whilst on a holiday? Had an accident and were both unconscious? We wouldn’t be able to access anything financially or medically of theirs or make any decisions without that Power of Attorney. I believe this document is more important than the Will for me. It means their healthcare won’t be delayed by red tape. I believe I would have always fought for the best care and decisions for their future but this PoA now gives me and my siblings that right. We can be the voice of our parents at a time when they may have lost theirs.

I have heard of scenarios where people have been put in a care home which was not of their choice because the son or daughter did not have the Power of Attorney in place to speak for their parents. This would be heartbreaking for me.

Although it doesn’t apply in our family, I have heard of people re-marrying later in life and failing to write a new Will so therefore their grown up children have lost out as everything has gone to the new wife or husband. 

A Will and Power of Attorney ensures the right decisions are made when the time comes. That is what is important for me. The right decisions and the right results – those that my parents would have wanted and have had a say in whilst they still could.

Prior to my father getting ill I had left my parents a business card on the side for a will writer but that’s exactly where it stayed! Even during the illness when times were tough, the conversation about a Will and Power of Attorney fell on deaf ears.

However the break-through came one day out of the blue when my mum told me she had an appointment with David Raybould, the will writer and estate planner. Following that we had a message to say we needed to be at the house to sign documents as they had done a Will, Power of Attorney and also dealt with a Trust for their property.

A feeling of relief came over me. This wasn’t about me but about mum and dad protecting their beloved home and their four children knowing their wishes.

I brought up scenarios about our husbands and wives and if they could inherit any money if there was a separation but before a divorce. I am very sensible and wanted all scenarios discussed – however difficult and unlikely they seemed at the time.

Nobody knows what is around the corner. My friend’s parents both suffered with sudden on-set of dementia. If she did not have the Power of Attorney in place, the journey that was ahead of her and her family would have been even more difficult than it already was.

I wanted it in writing what my mum and dad wanted after their death. I wanted to know that my mum would have control over health and financial decisions if something happened to dad and vice versa. And of course if something happened to them both then we as their children would have the right to make the decisions on their behalf.

We are now safe in the knowledge this has all been dealt with and gone through the appropriate courts for the Trust. If their health deteriorated suddenly then I know we can make the right choices for them if they are deemed unable to make their own.

They know they have done the right thing – however difficult it was. 

I have family members and friends whose parents will not do it. I find it selfish as the family left behind or the family trying to sort out care for them are the ones who need these things in place to make a very stressful situation as easy as possible.

Written by a client of David’s who wishes to remain anonymous