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Lasting Power of Attorney, known as an LPA is a legal document, which in simple terms gives authority to somebody you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer have the capacity to do so.
There are two types of LPA’s, Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare:
This LPA allows the people you trust to look after your finances, including paying bills on your behalf as well as looking after any property and/or investments.
This type of LPA can be set up so it may be used right away or so that it can only be used when you cannot make the decisions yourself.
This LPA again allows the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf but in relation to all aspects of your health and personal welfare. It would provide authority to your loved ones to make decisions about your medical treatment if a time were to come when you were no longer able to make these decisions.
This type of LPA can only be used if you became unable to make the decisions for yourself.
Having an LPA simply gives you control to decide who you want and trust to look after your health and affairs when you can no longer do so.
Many people become incapable of managing affairs during their lifetime and so having an LPA gives peace of mind.
One person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes. People assume relatives can just walk into a bank and access their loved ones money, even to just pay for that persons care. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Unless you have a power of attorney in place, loved ones would have to apply to the Court of Protection for Deputyship, which can be a long and costly process. In fact, you can expect to pay in the region of £1,500-£3,000 for applications for deputyship as well as potential annual fees in addition.
Most people will think they are perfectly fit and well and even too young to consider an LPA. Life has lots of things in store for us and we just never know what will happen which is why it will make all the difference if you plan ahead and be prepared for what may or may not happen in the future.
Look at an LPA like an insurance against a life-changing event. We insure our homes, cars and other valuable possessions every day to ensure financial protection if something goes wrong. An LPA should be looked at in the same way. We would hope an LPA would never need to be used although if the worst did happen, it’s there ready to be used when you and your family need it most. Just in the same way as an insurance policy would work.