It may be hard to consider but one day you may not be able to make big decisions due to an illness.
Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney is one of the best ways to help you and your family manage this difficult time.
An LPA appoints someone to manage your property in the case you lack the mental capability to do so. It can appoint one person or more to be your ‘attorney’ and these can be anyone that you want.
'Mental capability’ implies lacking the ability to comprehend and make choices for yourself. You may lose the capacity to decide certain things yet not others. For instance, you could decide what to wear or have for lunch, however may find it hard to take care of your bills or deal with your assets.
One of the main benefits of an LPA is that it can list any directions that your chosen person should follow or any preferences that you might want them to consider when choosing between options for your benefit. The documents are very flexible when it comes to how you want the attorney to operate, This means you can still have some control over the decisions made for you.
A Health and Welfare LPA covers decisions about your wellbeing, care, and health. Your attorney would be able to make choices concerning your medical treatment, what type of care you receive, and where you receive it. It can also consider decisions about lifestyle choices such as what you wear and eat.
They come to be very useful when the unthinkable, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or a stroke, takes place.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA means your attorney can look after your bank accounts, investments, bills and property. This could mean your attorney would be:
running your bank accounts
managing your pension
taking care of your bills, paying for care, and settling family expenses
buying or selling your home
In the event that you lose capacity without an LPA set up, your family will have to apply to the Court of Protection to have an appointee named to manage your assets. This is a long and expensive process. You have to pay for things like the Deputyship set up, the regular annual supervision fee, as well as an annual bond. This will all come out of your own pocket. However, if you have an LPA this won’t be an issue.
Without an LPA, any joint financial accounts you hold with your partner could be seriously restricted. This can lead to dire consequences especially if they have their pension paid into that account or they use it to cover basic bills.