These documents are just as important as having a professionally written will. Whilst we look to get our affairs in order when we die we rarely consider the consequences of what might happen should we become unable to make decisions for ourselves, whether this is through dementia or loss of mental faculties through an accident or illness.
Do I need an LPA?
You may think that family members are automatically legally entitled to handle your affairs if you are no longer able to do so yourself. However, this is not the case. Only a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust (your Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf in the event you lose the capacity to make these decisions for yourself in the future.
Which LPA do I need?
There are two types of LPA available and although they work independently of each other, it is strongly advisable to have both in place.
A Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows your Attorney to:
- Manage your bank accounts (including current accounts, building society accounts and savings)
- Pay bills (including setting up and stopping Direct Debits)
- Collect and manage payments such as benefits and pensions (private and state)
- Sell or buy property and other assets
A Health & Welfare LPA allows your Attorney to:
- Choose a home care company or residential placement for you
- Arrange your meals
- Organise your social activities
- Make decisions regarding medical treatment (including life-sustaining treatment or end of life care)
Please note that these lists are not exhaustive and your Attorneys can make a variety of other decisions on your behalf.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA?
An LPA must be made whilst you still have the mental capacity to manage your own financial affairs. Once mental faculty is lost, it is too late to start an LPA. In which case, someone would have to start the lengthy (upwards of one year) and costly (running into the £1,000s) process of applying for Deputyship through the Court of Protection to be able to manage your affairs.
During this time your assets would be frozen, and no decisions could be made on your behalf. Would you be able to wait that long to access funds or reach decisions on care needs?
You cannot control who applies for Deputyship and in some cases your Local Authority may seek permission to make decisions on your behalf.
Would you want a stranger making important decisions for you (instead of someone you know and trust)?
For more information or to book your FREE will review, call Jim Gregory, at Will Writing East Kent today on 07712 672658 or 01304 614956. Alternatively, fill in the callback form on this page.