Lasting Powers of Attorney – important for all

Thinking and talking about what would happen if our faculties deserted us is uncomfortable. That is why it is important to consider Lasting Powers of Attorney. Imagine how much worse the situation would be for your family if you had a stroke, serious accident or dementia without making appropriate arrangements.

A catastrophe can happen at any age; this makes the need for Lasting Powers of Attorney of equal importance to writing a Will.

“The Court of Protection hit the headlines last year when it was revealed that a judge had secretly sentenced a woman to six months in prison for rescuing her elderly father from ill treatment suffered at a care home.”

If someone has difficulties that do not mean they can’t make decisions, but mean that they will need help to manage their financial arrangements, Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document whereby someone nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs.

This does not mean you lose control as you can choose whether LPA can be used before, or only when, you lose mental capacity.

Your representative will normally be required to assist you to make a decision and only make a decision for you if you’re unable to. For example, if you fall into a coma, your representative would start looking after your affairs. When you recover, you will be able to make your own decisions again.

Two types of LPA:

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for you to choose from, or you can have both.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This type of LPA gives your attorney the authority to deal with buying and selling your property, your bills, bank accounts and investments. This can be used while someone is still capable but has chosen to delegate to their attorney.

Personal Welfare LPA
This type of LPA can only be used when you have lost capacity and are not able to make decisions for yourself. It gives someone you trust authority to make decisions about where you should live and what medical treatment you should receive.

“There have been several cases where old people, against their wishes, have had to hand over control of all they possess to social workers and the courts”

Planning ahead and drawing up your LPAs now gives you the opportunity to appoint someone you trust – usually a relative or a friend.

Your attorney is not allowed to take advantage of the position of authority they have been given and must always act in your best interests. Their decisions must not benefit them over you in any way.

To request a fact sheet on LPAs or for further information please click this link http://www.unavida.co.uk/contact/