Sorry to have to be so blunt with the heading, but does dementia or lack of capacity through an accident or illness worry you?
In our view, it should make you think about the future at least and ensure that proper authorities are in place to allow loved ones to care for you in such circumstances.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) lets you appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. It is usually used when someone is unable to make their own decisions. To ensure certainty, they should be made long in advance of that person loosing capacity.
Anyone over the age of 18 can make a Lasting Power of Attorney. They are very practical and useful documents. LPAs ensure that should you be unable to make decisions for yourself, there is always someone chosen by you who can step in.
If you don’t make an LPA then no one can automatically assume this authority, and the matter could end up going to Court. It would then be the Court who would decide who could act for you and this is both costly, time consuming and extremely stressful for the family or carers.
There are 2 types of LPAs:
Health & Welfare: which lets you choose 1 person or more to make decisions about things like your daily routine (e.g. what to eat and what to wear), medical care, moving into a care home, refusing life sustaining treatment
Property & Financial Affairs: lets you choose 1 person or more to make decisions about money and property for you. For example, paying bills, collecting your benefits, selling your home.
It is important to remember that a Health & Welfare power can only be used if you become unable to make your own decisions; a Property & Affairs power can be used at any time upon your direction.
As you will appreciate, both of these documents are vital.
For Business Owners
It is essential for business owners to make LPAs to ensure the smooth running of your business. Business continuity is a key element in business planning and you must take steps to ensure that if you could not take care of the day-to-day running of your business then you have someone in place to assume this role.
You can choose to make one or both of these powers and we can take your through the options available to you and the paperwork involved to make sure that you get it right.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian for which there is a fee.
It can take up to 8 weeks to register your Lasting Power of Attorney. You can cancel a Lasting Power of Attorney at any time, even if it has been registered, as long as you still have the capacity to do so.
If you would like more information on costs and advice, then please contact us to discuss in person or over the phone.