There is a widespread misconception that a spouse or next of kin would be legally entitled to make all health and financial decisions on behalf of someone if they were to lose the capacity to make those decisions themself. This is absolutely not the case. Another popular misconception is that only the elderly need to worry about Lasting Power of Attorney. Again, absolutely not the case. Any one of us could lose mental capacity at any time and the results would be equally devastating. Accidents, strokes and heart attacks can affect us all at any time of life.
If you lose mental capacity without having created your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) , it would be necessary for your family to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed to deal with everyday health decisions and all your financial matters. This can be a long, slow and very expensive process. Having an LPA in place means this will not be necessary and will save your loved ones a lot of heartache.
There are two kinds of LPA. One deals with your Property and Finance and the other with all matters relating to your Health and Welfare. Creating an LPA allows YOU to decide in advance who makes all these critical decisions and not leave it for a court to decide. Most often people appoint their loved ones to handle their affairs. It is normal to appoint a first choice, perhaps a husband or wife, and then appoint reserves, possible children. However each case is different and we will happily advise you accordingly.
Health conditions such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or heart attacks and strokes can cause making decisions yourself virtually impossible. Accidents and falls can also have a major impact on ones health regardless of age. By appointing attorneys well in advance of you ever needing one, you will be able to tell them exactly what YOU would want them to do in different situations. They will make be able to make life or death decisions based on your wishes, made whilst you had the capacity to express them.
Equally, when it comes to financial matters, your appointed attorney will be able to handle your affairs as if they were you. They can deal with banks, mortgages, insurance companies, pensions and everyday things like utility bills and subscriptions.
You don’t have to pick just one person to act as your attorney. You can have up to four people and you can decide if you want them to make decisions together or independently.
LPAs allow you to decide who controls your affairs whilst you are still alive if you lose the capacity to do so yourself. It can never be too early to get them in place but sadly, all too often it can be too late. A person can only appoint attorneys whilst they have 100% full mental capacity. The second that changes it is legally too late.
Please be aware that LPAs do have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. They may also make a charge for this in some circumstances, but our advisor will be able to guide you through any costs involved. We are happy to meet you in your own home, by telephone or via Zoom.
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney costs just £99. Every individual will need two. One to deal with Health and Welfare and one to deal with Property and Finance. A small price to pay for the stress it will save your loved ones. For a completely free consultation please call us today and arrange an appointment in your own home.