We all fear the possibility that a time may come when we can no longer manage our own affairs due to illness or mental incapacity. It can be just as stressful for the partner or children of someone in this situation who must start dealing with their finance or healthcare. That’s why it can be incredibly helpful to have lasting power of attorney in place.
Most people don’t find out until it’s too late that there is no automatic legal right for a person to manage their partner’s or parents’ affairs when they are incapable. So, it makes sense to prepare well in advance, just in case this situation should arise.
The best solution for this is most likely lasting power of attorney, or LPA.
What Is Lasting Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) appoints trusted family members or friends as ‘Attorneys.’ They then have the legal right to make decisions for the person who appointed them when they can no longer do it for themselves.
It’s important to be aware that an LPA should be put in place before any significant problems arise with illnesses such as dementia or a stroke. Otherwise, you may need to apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship.
There are two types of LPA: one for property and financial affairs, and the other for health and welfare. By completing one of these documents, the affected person (called the Donor) can appoint one or more attorneys to manage their affairs.
Why Would I Need to Make an LPA?
The Alzheimer’s Society state that there are around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK. And, someone will develop dementia every three minutes. While lasting powers of attorney is not restricted to sonly help those with dementia, it is one of the most common circumstances for making an LPA.
Whatever your reasons, it’s important you set up an LPA sooner rather than later. It should be done while you are still capable of doing so.
So, if you have older relatives, consider speaking to them about the benefits of a lasting power of attorney. It may be something they haven’t thought about, but a well drafted LPA could be hugely beneficial in the future.
Or, maybe you should have an LPA created for a time you are less capable of looking after your own affairs. The sooner the better, because if someone has a significant health problem, they may have already lost the legal ability to create one.
How We Can Help
We understand it can be stressful and confusing to know what the best course of action to take is. That’s why we’re here to help.
We can help with the drafting of these complex documents and advise you as to what each one means. Plus, we can advise you about any special clauses or provisions you may want in your agreement to protect you. For example, to restrict what your attorneys can and can’t do, or when they can start.
To find out more about lasting power of attorney, please get in touch today. We can help protect you and your family. Call us on 01925 351 350 to get started.
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