Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney so important?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint people you trust to manage your affairs in the event that you should lose mental capacity. There are many reasons that people lose mental capacity, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or a road traffic accident. You are never too young to make an LPA, yet a recent survey found that over 80% of UK adults don't have one in place.

This article outlines the two types of LPA available and explores the benefits of both.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney and in our opinion they are both equally important.

1. Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This type of LPA offers peace of mind that people you trust will be legally allowed to manage your property and financial affairs should the need arise. This could include the following:

  • Paying bills such as utility bills and care home fees.
  • Claiming benefits, pensions and allowances.
  • Operating bank or building society accounts.
  • Giving gifts to family members or charities.
  • Buying or selling property.

What happens if I do not have a Property and Financial Affairs LPA?

  • Your loved ones will find it very difficult to manage your financial affairs as they will not have legal authority to do so. 
  • If you have not completed an LPA and you lose mental capacity, your loved ones will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as ‘deputies’. 
  • More than 11,500 families every year have to go to Court to be appointed as 'deputies' for their friends or relatives. This involves running up costly legal bills that could be avoided through preparing an LPA.

2. Health and Welfare LPA

This type of LPA allows your nominated individual(s) to make decisions regarding your personal welfare and any medical treatment that you may need. It is particularly useful if you are worried about your state of health or wish to nominate others to decide upon the type of treatment and care you receive in the future.

What happens if I do not have a Health and Welfare LPA?

  • Only your legal next of kin would be consulted about decisions such as resuscitation and life sustaining treatment. 
  • You may be resuscitated against your wishes. 
  • Decisions could be made without knowledge of your wishes. 
  • Social Services may need to become involved in decisions as to where you should live and what care you require. 

The main benefits of having a Lasting Powers of Attorney in place now

  • It’s legally binding so no-one can ignore it.
  • You can decide now, while you have capacity, who manages your affairs.
  • It helps your loved ones deal with your affairs quicker.
  • It’s cheaper to prepare an LPA, than if your loved ones having to make an application to the Court of Protection.
  • It provides you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

Contact Angela Craig on 0121 514 1592 to book an appointment to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney.

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