If you’ve never heard of a Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA), you’re not alone. Or you may be familiar with the term, but have decided it’s not relevant to you. Few of us want to think about what might happen if we lost our mental capacity, but the statistics of people living with dementia in the UK are sobering (the Alzheimer’s Society predict over one million people by 2025)! An LPA is a legal tool which means you can appoint someone you trust to help you make decisions about your finances when you are no longer able to do so. Most LPAs are used in this way, by people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, but they may be needed sooner if you were suddenly involved in an accident or suffered a stroke.
An LPA must be made when you are fit and well
Once mental capacity has been lost, it’s too late and then it’s up to a relative to apply to act on your behalf – this involves a lengthy, often costly court process. The creation of an LPA is as important as creating your Will and without these legal tools in place, you and your family may be left in a very vulnerable situation.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Finance & Property
Everyone should make a Finance & Property LPA when they are young to act almost as an insurance policy. But don’t be frightened that setting up an LPA equals losing financial control. It may never be needed, or it may only be needed many years later. Everyone should have the reassurance of knowing that whatever happens, their family will be able to help pay their bills or access money for their care.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare
As well as an LPA for financial and property related matters, there is also an LPA document which covers your health and welfare. You can use a Health & Welfare LPA to appoint people you would trust to speak to medical professionals on your behalf if you were too ill to do that yourself. Without an LPA in place medical practitioners do not have to listen to family members!
Two quite different LPAs – and both could be needed if you became unwell. You will find more information about these particularly important documents here. We can take the stress away from making LPAs by completing the paperwork on your behalf.
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