WHY YOU SHOULD GET YOUR LPA TODAY?
Less than 15% of adults in the UK have a Lasting Power of Attorney.
This means that in the event of a serious illness or accident, resulting in ‘incapacity’ (unable to make a decision for yourself), 85% of people will have the decisions on their finance, assets, health and welfare made by the authorities!
Now I am sure you DO NOT want that to happen!
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more trusted people to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. The people you appoint to manage your affairs are called the ‘attorneys’. An LPA is a completely separate legal document to your Will, although many people put them in place at the same time as getting their will written, as part of wanting to plan for the future.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more persons you trust or a professional such as a Trust Corporation (your Attorney’s) to make decisions and take appropriate actions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs.
Your Attorney or Attorney’s can manage your finances and property whilst you still have the capacity as well as when you lack capacity. For example, it may be easier for you to give someone the power to carry out tasks such as paying your bills or collecting your benefits or other income.
This might be for lots of reasons: you might find it difficult to get about or be housebound or may find talking on the telephone difficult, or you might be working or living abroad for long periods of time.
You can decide what power and the extent of the power to give your Attorney(s) when making decisions about any or all of your property and affairs matters. This could include paying your bills, collecting your benefits or selling your house.
This type of LPA does not allow the person(s) you have chosen (your Attorney) to make decisions about your personal welfare. If you want someone to be able to make personal welfare decisions on your behalf you will need to make a Health and Welfare LPA.
Health and Welfare LPA
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead with regard to your personal healthcare and welfare by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf.
These personal health and welfare decisions can only be taken by somebody else (a close friend or family member) when you lack the ability to make decisions regarding your treatment or other personal matters for yourself; for example, if you are unconscious or because of the onset of a condition such as dementia.
The Attorney(s) you appoint to make personal welfare decisions will only be able to use this power once the LPA has been registered and provided that you cannot make the required decision for yourself.
You can decide to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about any or all of your personal welfare matters, including healthcare matters. This could involve some significant decisions, such as:
giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions
whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you.
You may wish your Attorney(s) to have the power to make decisions about ‘life-sustaining treatment’, if you do then you have to expressly give your chosen Attorney(s) the power to make such decisions by completing sections 6 and 12 of the LPA form.
You can also give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about day-to-day aspects of your personal welfare, such as your diet, your dress, or your daily routine. It is up to you which of these decisions you want to allow your Attorney to make.
Benefits of Lasting Power of attorney
There are many to having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place sooner rather than later:
- You can decide now, while you have capacity, who manages your finances and care should you lose capacity in the future.
- It’ is much cheaper to do it now than your loved ones having to make an application to the court later after your loss of capacity.
- It is legally binding so no-one can ignore it.
- It helps your loved ones deal with your affairs much easier and quicker.
- It can avoid problems with access to your monies to pay bills etc
- It provides you and your loved ones with the peace of mind that your affairs are being dealt with.
Why do I need a lasting power of attorney?
If you become incapacitated (which means you have lost the ability to make decisions for yourself due to accident, illness or disease), only the authorities are given the authority to make decisions for you. So by making a lasting power of attorney you are choosing a trusted person or persons to make those decisions for you.
How do I get a lasting power of attorney?
In North Devon only 15% of adults have made their Lasting Powers of Attorney. As a professional Estate Planning Practitioner I believe it to be one of the most important things you could do, making sure your affairs are cared for by someone you trust and ensuring your loved ones are not left not knowing what you wanted or how to go about it.
Book below a 30 minute consultation call with Kenton to get your Lasting Power of Attorney.
Time to get your affairs in order?
It’s not easy to think about a time when you won’t be able to make your own decisions, but it can help to be prepared.
Getting your affairs in order can be carried out at many
different stages of life and is sometimes motivated by a range of very sensitive personal reasons.
If you would like to review your situation or discuss the
options available, please contact us for further information – we look forward to hearing from you.