Following a serious accident or illness such as stroke or dementia, you may not be able to manage your finances or make decisions about your health care. Should you be unable to act yourself, you can give someone you trust a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to enable them to act on your behalf, should you be unable to yourself.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – The first concentrates on all financial decisions (including property) and the other is there for health care decisions.
Why Do I Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
We associate losing mental capacity with old age but in fact, this can affect anybody at any point during their life.
Most of us assume our partner will automatically be responsible for managing our finances and making decisions for us, however it’s not always that simple. Banks can freeze joint accounts refusing access when one party becomes incapacitated - even if the funds are needed to pay for health care. Should your partner have a serious stroke for example, any money in their sole name would not be able to be touched, you would not be able to deal with their pension or finances, or sell the house. The Property and Finance LPA allows you to nominate someone you trust to run your finances should you at some point not have the mental capacity to do so.
The health and welfare LPA gives attorneys authority to make life sustaining medical decisions for you plus decisions regarding your welfare should you need care in the future, Would you want these decisions to be made by strangers?
What Happens If I Don't Have A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
If you don't have a lasting power of attorney, your partner, a family member or friend will need to apply to the Court for a Deputyship Order. This can be very costly, take time and is not always straightforward - the person who applies may not be the person you would have chosen to manage your affairs. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney the process is a cheaper and quicker way to ensure someone you trust manages your affairs should you be unable to do so yourself.
Croft Wills and Estate Planning can draw up your LPA's at a very competative price, currently our charges for LPA's are more than half the cost of local solicitors costs!!