If you think you may be unable to cope with financial or health matters in future, now is a crucial time to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place means that someone else will be able to manage important tasks on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.
Unfortunately, LPAs are taking much longer to be registered these days. According to the government’s website, it’s currently taking an average of 20 weeks to register an LPA if there are no mistakes in the application. In some cases, it can take even longer – sometimes up to six months. The sooner you start the process, the better.
To help you understand more about what LPAs cover, here’s some useful information…
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives one person (the “attorney”) the authority to make decisions on another person’s behalf. The person appointing an attorney is known as the “donor”.
LPAs are typically used in cases where a person needs help making decisions due to an illness or injury. There are two types of LPAs – Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. Many people understandably tend to focus on getting the financial LPA organised, but both are important for different reasons.
A Property & Financial Affairs LPA gives the attorney authority to make financial decisions and handle tasks on behalf of the donor on matters such as managing their bank accounts, managing (and possibly even selling) property, and paying bills.
Contrary to popular belief, it can be possible for a person with dementia to have an LPA prepared so long as they understand what they will be signing and have the capacity to make an informed decision. As dementia is a progressive condition, and cognitive function will deteriorate over time, it’s advisable to get an LPA done as soon as possible.
A Health & Welfare LPA covers things like healthcare decisions, moving into a care home, and life-sustaining treatment. The attorney can only make decisions when the donor no longer has mental capacity.
There are many benefits of having an LPA (and it’s recommended that you have both types done), but some of the most common reasons are:
To be prepared for the future
No one knows what the future holds. If you have an LPA in place, you can rest assured knowing that your affairs will be taken care of according to your wishes, even if you’re no longer able to make decisions.
To avoid disputes
If you don’t have an LPA in place and something happens to you, your family or friends will have to apply to the court to be appointed as your ‘deputy’. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, during which time your affairs will be in limbo. By having an LPA in place, you can avoid any potential disputes and ensure that things are taken care of quickly and efficiently.
For peace of mind
It’s reassuring to know that your affairs will be properly managed. You can choose who you want to appoint as your attorney (and you can have more than one attorney), so you can have complete confidence in their ability to act on your behalf.
We’re here to help
If you’re thinking about making an LPA, we can help to arrange this through our trusted business partners. Contact us for further advice.