When we think about our later years, we invariably want to keep our independence, continue to deal with our financial affairs and be able to make decisions about where we live and what care we might receive in the future. But what if we can no longer make those decisions for ourselves? Who then steps in to look after our affairs? That is where a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can help.
Many people assume that their next of kin will be able to make these decisions – but this unfortunately isn’t the case. Data protection laws prevent banks or doctors’ surgeries from dealing with anyone else unless they have the correct authority to do so. And bigger decisions surrounding finances and property cannot be made without legal authority.
You can choose someone that you trust, by appointing them to act under a Lasting Power of Attorney, also known as an LPA. You can appoint one or more Attorneys and they can help make decisions with you (if you still have mental capacity) or on your behalf should you lose mental capacity temporarily or permanently in the future.
Anyone over the age of 18 can appoint an LPA as long as they have the mental capacity to understand the document and the power that they are giving to their Attorneys.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Property and Finance LPA
A Property and Finance LPA allows the Attorney(s) to manage the person’s finances and property, for example, dealing with bank accounts and investments, selling property if necessary and paying bills.
Health and Welfare LPA
A Health & Welfare LPA allows the Attorney(s) to make decisions about the person’s health and welfare only when they lack the capacity and are unable to make these decisions for themselves. Such decisions can include giving or refusing consent to medical or life sustaining treatment, choosing where the person might live in the future and the type of care that they might receive.
It’s never too early to put an LPA in place. It’s a tool to help you to plan for the future, which is why many people put it in place at the same time as writing a Will. It will give you the peace of mind that someone you trust will take care of your affairs, if the time comes when you are no longer able.
Contact Rucklidge Law to find out more about putting an LPA in place.