What would you do if you weren’t able to look after your own financial affairs? Who do you trust to do this should you become incapable due to failing health? It can be a shocking circumstance to consider – but it has never been more important.
There aren’t many of us who want to contemplate such a time. But the alternative, of leaving it too late, can be a very difficult and painful development to cope with. That’s why nearly two million British people have invested in a way to avoid such heartache.
You need to think about handing over responsibility when you can. You do this through a legal document known as a lasting power of attorney (otherwise known as an LPA.) This can be amended any time you want.
What does having an LPA mean?
Signing a power of attorney means you are ensuring that if anything happens that drastically alters your mental capacity, such as certain illnesses or an accident, those you love and trust can look after you in the way that you would want.
You are known as a ‘donor’ and you give someone else you trust (known as the attorney) the lawful authority to make key financial decisions for you.
This is most relevant for people who want to ensure that should they be diagnosed with illnesses that could affect their mental capacity, they have measures in place to protect their interest.
Or, some people take out an LPA when they have already been diagnosed. This may mean that an assessment is needed to see if they are still able to make such important decisions.
Types of LPA
Property and financial affairs power of attorney.
Your attorney oversees decisions such as paying your bills and mortgage or selling your home. They also control pensions, investments and benefits arrangements . You can determine the exact limits of decisions they will be able to make.
Health and welfare LPA
This authorises your attorney to decide on aspects of your medical care.
How to organise an LPA
You need to speak to the person or people you have in mind. And you need to take rigorous advice depending on your own specific circumstances from a solicitor.
You may feel your wishes are straightforward, for now. But a solicitor can be key in acting as an intermediary in discussing wishes with family or clarifying possibly sensitive subjects. We can help make your instructions as detailed as you want, with your best interests at heart.
- If you would like to get the most up to the minute advice about what should be in your LPA and an expert team to guide you through the process, we can help. Contact us for more details of our confidential service.