If you lose the ability to manage your affairs through accident or ill health, you would normally assume that your partner or family would be able to make decisions on your behalf. This is not the case! A legal document known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is required. An LPA appoints someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf whilst you are alive but unable to do so yourself.
If you don’t have an LPA in place and you lose capacity then your partner or family would have to apply to The Court of Protection for the legal right to make decisions on your behalf. This can be a lengthy and costly process and can result in financial hardship for your loved ones. There are two types of LPA; Property and Financial Affairs LPA and Health and Welfare LPA. Once these documents are drafted and signed correctly they can only be used when they are registered with The Office of the Public Guardian.
You can choose one or more persons to make decisions about your property and assets including bank accounts, your home and other assets such as investments. If you do not have a Property and Financial Affairs LPA in place your bank accounts could be frozen, meaning that you and your loved ones would be deprived of YOUR money when they may need it the most.
The advantages of having a Property and Financial Affairs LPA are:
You can appoint one or more persons to make important decisions regarding your medical care, moving in to a care home or indeed choosing which care home you move in to, your daily life and the ability to refuse life sustaining treatment. This Power of Attorney can only be used once you have lost the capacity to make decisions for yourself.
The advantages of having a Health and Welfare LPA are:
Planning for Later Life Now whilst you are still able! Imagine their relief if you have arranged everything to be done for them!
Make it easier for your family now, and in the future