Do I need a lasting power of attorney?
We have an ageing population, and experts predict that by 2025, one million people in the UK will have dementia. So it is hardly surprising that more and more people are seeking advice on Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs).
An LPA is a legal document which allows you to appoint a trusted individual to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so. While this might be a difficult topic to consider when you are still fit and well, it is an extremely good idea to start to plan for the future now. We never know when our health is going to fail us, so it is best to have measures in place to ensure your physical and financial wellbeing will be taken care of should you lose mental capacity in the coming years.
To guarantee you have complete protection, there are two types of LPAs that you can create. Firstly, a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to appoint one or more people to make decisions regarding things such as your daily routine, living arrangements and medical treatment. Secondly, a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint one or more people to manage your money and property, including paying bills, collecting benefits and selling your home.
If you are thinking about creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, there are certain forms you must fill in and register with the Office of the Public Guardian. However, before you sign anything, you should speak to us. Although you can make an LPA without legal advice, you need to remember that this is a very powerful document. You are effectively handing control of your personal and/or financial affairs over to another person: it is therefore essential you ask an experienced professional to help you prepare your LPA or you could put yourself in a very vulnerable position.
For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call us on 01676 530514 or email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).