Lasting Powers of Attorney documents
These documents are at least as important as having a professionally written Will. Whilst we look to get our affairs in order when we die we seldom consider the consequences of what might happen should we become unable to look after ourselves, whether this is through dementia, or loss of mental faculties through an accident or illness.
Who would look after your affairs – or put it another way, who has legal authority to access your finances, deal with your property when you are the only person authorised to? Chances are, no-one apart from yourself.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) documents should be viewed as an insurance policy you can take out should some time in the future you suffer a problem leaving you unable to look after yourself. They have to be written before any problem arises though – like insurance, you can’t buy it to cover you for a problem which has already happened. It’s never too early to have these documents but it can often be too late.
Without this cover, your loved ones do not have any authority to handle your affairs, and have to apply to the Court of Protection to gain legal permission. All this takes a significant amount of time and money – upwards of a year and £1,000’s to gain legal authority.
These documents allow you to appoint people you trust, such as members of your family or friends, who can step in and make decisions on your behalf. In fact there are two Lasting Powers of Attorney documents available to you:
- The Property and Financial LPA allows the people you trust (your attorneys) to make decisions relating to your finances and property when you can’t make decisions for yourself.
- The Health and Welfare allows your attorneys to make decisions relating to your personal welfare and even healthcare when you can’t make decisions for yourself.
These are far more flexible than the old Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) documents.
- A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables a person to appoint one or more people to look after his or her financial affairs or personal welfare, particularly if he or she became mentally incapacitated.
- The LPA must be made while mentally competent since one cannot be drafted if you do not have the mental capacity
- One in three people over 65 will develop Dementia and two thirds of people with dementia are women.
- Lasting Power of Attorney document may also be appropriate for stroke sufferers and the elderly.
- If you don’t have a Power of Attorney in place your loved ones do not have any authority to handle your affairs. This could leave a problem when you are unable to make decisions for yourself brought on by an accident or illness.
We offer a Free Power of Attorney checking service and consultation in the privacy and comfort of your own home.