Having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is important in enabling someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you no longer be able to.
Despite the advantages of putting in place an LPA as an ‘insurance policy’ many people remain reluctant to do so or have simply not got around to it yet. Latest figures suggest that around 78% of UK adults do not have one in place and, perhaps even more worryingly, 77% of people over 55 have not registered either type of LPA.
Here, Shivali Gill, an Associate Solicitor with Mander Hadley, who specialises in LPAs, explains why an LPA is so important and why everyone should consider putting one in place:
Many people take the view that there’s no need to think about an LPA ‘just yet’. As a result, it is one of those jobs that sadly just keeps being put off until another day.
However, no matter how young and fit you are, you should consider putting an LPA in place sooner rather than later as, sadly, unexpected events may lead to a sudden need for someone to act on your behalf.
There are several situations in which you might need an LPA. For example, if you become ill or are involved in an accident and are unable to make decisions for yourself, giving someone Power of Attorney can be extremely helpful.
Without this, your family members may have to go through a court process to be appointed to make decisions for you.
There are two forms of LPA which include:
A Health and Welfare LPA can help with decisions regarding daily routine, medical care, life-sustaining treatment or when to move into a care home.
A Property and Finances Affairs LPA can help with managing your bank account, collecting benefits, paying bills or selling your home.
If you lose mental capacity and do not have an LPA in place, decisions about your finances, health, and welfare will be made by a court-appointed deputy. This route is not only very costly but can take 12 months, and sometimes even longer, to put in place, during which time important decisions will be on hold.
An LPA allows you to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf, and you can set out your wishes and preferences in advance.
You’ll be able to feel relaxed that your affairs will be managed in accordance with your wishes, and by someone you trust.
If you need advice on drafting an LPA please get in touch with us.