According to the Alzheimer’s Society, by 2025 more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia. One in five people over 85 already suffer from it, being more common in women than men. If you should lose capacity without a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place, trying to manage your financial affairs becomes increasingly difficult.
If you should lose capacity and you do not have a LPA in place, relatives or friends could face delays and expense to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order so that they can take control of your decisions.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents that are put in place so that if and when required, your attorneys can step in to assist you.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
1. Property & Financial affairs; and
2. Health & Welfare
These LPAs grant their attorneys legal authority to deal with their financial decisions and their health and welfare. People assume that LPAs are for the elderly, but it is in fact for all ages as you can become incapacitated at any time.
Your attorneys are chosen by you and need to be someone you trust. To be an attorney, they need to be over the age of 18 and willing to take on the role. It is important to discuss this with your attorneys before appointing them, as it is a big responsibility for them to take. Their role is to make decisions based on your best interests. You are able to restrict the decisions they make, or you can let them make all of your decisions on your behalf.
Your LPA is tailored by you, for you and ensures that your future is taken care of with regard to control of your assets, finances and health & welfare decisions.
Written by Charlotte Phillips, Paralegal, January 2020