AT any stage during our lives, our capacity can be affected. This may be through illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it can also be affected by other issues, such as a stroke or an accident.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document enabling you to appoint someone to deal with your affairs should be you become unable to do so yourself.
People are often surprised to hear that if you do lose your capacity, without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, no one else has the legal right to make decisions on your behalf. Not even your spouse or children.
Having an LPA in place empowers the person(s) you choose as your attorney to seamlessly take over and handle your affairs.
When drawing an LPA, they can be designed around your personal circumstances. For example, you have the ability not only to appoint an attorney but also to add replacements if they become unable to carry out the obligations.
You also have the ability to add guidance and preferences within the LPA so your attorneys are aware of your thoughts and beliefs on issues which are important to you.
There are two types of LPA: ‘Property and Finance’ and ‘Health and Welfare’.
‘Property and Finance’ enables the attorney to make decisions about managing your money, bank accounts, pensions and selling or buying property on your behalf.
‘Health and Welfare allows them to make decisions about your care, medical issues, life sustaining treatment and even your dress and daily diet.
You can choose to have both or just one, many people choose to have both to ensure both areas of their lives can be legally managed by someone they have appointed.
It is important to have an LPA drawn at an early stage as you are only able to enter into an LPA if you have full mental capacity.
If you lose capacity without having entered into an LPA, your loved ones can apply for a Deputyship Order.
However this is a lengthy and costly process and can present unnecessary stress and delay.
O Donnell Solicitors are offering 10% off the costs of having Lasting Powers of Attorney drawn up during the month of July – bring in this article to claim your discount.
For more information or to book an appointment call on 01457 761 320.