Father’s Day 2017: Looking after Dad

Looking after Dad on father's day

This year the UK, alongside a host of other countries, will be celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday 18th June.

Not every country celebrates Father’s Day at the same time. Some European and Latin American countries celebrate this occasion on 19 March including Italy (Festa del Papà) and Spain (Día del Padre). Australia and the Ukraine celebrate in September – while Indonesia marks the occasion on the 12th of November. However, an increasing number of countries are aligning their celebrations with the more widely-celebrated June date.

What happens on Father’s Day?

Father's Day Germany

In the UK, most of us will give cards and gifts – but traditions vary around the World. In Germany, Father’s Day is called ‘Vatertag’ (Father’s Day) or ‘Männertag’ (Men’s Day). It coincides with the public holiday ‘Himmelfahrt’ (Ascension Day), which celebrates the Ascension of Christ into heaven forty days after Easter.

One German explains on Imgur:

“We celebrate all fathers. All men old enough to drink take a lot of beer and BBQ stuff and drink the whole day while walking around. Some make a race of it: pairs carry a crate of beer while drinking all 24 bottles. Whichever pair is first to the finish line and drank the whole crate wins (prize: no prize, just fame). For some reason nowadays you don’t really need to be a father – and sometimes women also join the party” (View the pictures here.)

What are the origins of Father’s Day?

Father and son

It is likely that Father’s Day had more than one origin.

It would seem that in 1908, a lady from Fairmont in West Virginia – Grace Golden Clayton – was the first person to suggest the idea. This followed an explosion in a mine at a nearby town which killed over 361 men, 210 of which were fathers. Around 1,000 children were left grieving as a result of the accident and Grace thought that the children affected by the explosion ought to have a time to remember their fathers. It would appear that a Father’s Day celebration was held a few months after Grace started campaigning, on July 5, 1908.

However, two years later in 2010, a lady in Washington – Sonora Smart Dodd – also thought of the idea after hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day. Sonora’s father raised her and her siblings after their mother died during childbirth. She started campaigning for the day around 1910 alongside the local YMCA and Ministerial Association of Spokane.  As a result of her campaigning, a Father’s Day was held on June 19th 1910 in Spokane – with more towns and cities across the US adopting the custom over time.

In 1966 Father’s Day was made official when it was added to the US calendar by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1972, President Nixon then made it a permanent national holiday – although across the pond, we are yet to follow suit.

Both explanations as to the origin of this special day appear to be rooted in history and it is likely both are accurate. The birth of Father’s Day therefore probably had multiple origins which came together to form one annual celebration. Today, Father’s Day is now widely celebrated and a welcome opportunity to remember and celebrate our fathers.

Looking after Dad

Dad

Helping your Father get his legal affairs in order is perhaps the most thoughtful gift anyone can give this Father’s day and will be treasured far more than the usual token gifts of socks, golf tees or a bottle of whiskey. So how can you do this?

Agree to act as Dad’s attorney

If you lost mental capacity, wouldn’t you want someone managing your finances and making decisions for you that you trusted? A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows your father to nominate you – or someone else of his choice – to make decisions for him if he is unable to make them for himself. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one for Finances and Property decisions, and the other for Health and Care decisions. Once registered, the Finances LPA can be used with your Dad’s permission at any time – so even if he can still make decisions for himself, he can ask you to help him with paying bills, managing his pension and benefits, and dealing with his bank.

Ensure Dad has a Will

Around 66% of people in the UK don’t have a Will which means the rules of intestacy will apply on their death. These may not be what your father would want. Additionally, a Will is a clear expression of your father’s wishes. With an increasing number of people contesting Wills and estates in the Courts, there has never been a more important time for your father to get his affairs in order.

It’s important to ensure that you don’t influence your Father in any way over how he distributes his property as this could leave the Will open to a challenge. Help your father to contact a legal professional and obtain proper advice, but don’t expect to sit in on the meeting (a qualified lawyer would not allow this) or trying to persuade your Father to change his mind about his wishes. If you use an experienced lawyer, they will be able to advise your father fully on the consequences of his choices.

April King Legal offer a free no-obligation appointment to discuss making a Will and/or Lasting Power of Attorney. We have locations across the UK and we also offer home visits where these are more convenient. Order our free information pack for your father which explains more about the types of Wills we do, together with an overview of Lasting Powers of Attorney.

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