There are lots of things we can do to plan ahead for when we get older. One important legal procedure which will provide peace of mind for you and your family should anything happen is to create a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
You might not want to think ‘what if’ something were to happen to you, but have you taken the time to consider who would manage your property and financial affairs and make decisions about your health and personal welfare if you become unable to make those decisions for yourself? This can include decisions about your healthcare and medical treatment, decisions about where you live and day-to-day decisions about your personal welfare.
Being prepared by creating a Lasting Power of Attorney is a prudent step to take that could provide invaluable reassurance to your loved ones if something were to affect your mental capacity in the future.
A common misconception is that your spouse or close family member would automatically be able to access your finances for your benefit or would be able to ‘acquire’ an LPA on your behalf. In actual fact an LPA has to be ‘granted’ by the individual concerned to their chosen Attorney when they are well enough to do so. This is why it is so important to plan ahead as you never know what the future holds.
For example, if money needs to be accessed for the care of an elderly parent suffering from dementia – without an LPA this can be a difficult and frustrating process for the family at an already trying time. In some circumstances in the absence of an LPA the near family would be required to apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection which can result in delay and significant expense. Creating an LPA in advance can avoid such delays and additional costs.
It is also particularly important to create an LPA if you are a business owner, considering not only your personal finances and assets but those of the business. In one case recently the business of a sole trader came to a virtual standstill when the owner was temporarily taken out of action following a head injury.
Preparing and registering an LPA is a relatively straightforward process, yet one that far few people actually progress. Farleys’ Private Client team have the expertise to guide you through the stages of creating the LPA and are always happy to discuss individual cases with clients to provide initial advice. please contact us here.