Lasting Powers of Attorney: Planning for a secure future
As a nation, we’re all living longer. The down side of that is that more and more people are likely to become physically or mentally dependent on others. It is forecast that more than a million people in the UK by 2025 will suffer from dementia, but there are many other causes which can affect a person’s ability to make their own decisions; accidents, strokes, brain injuries and Parkinson’s are just some examples.
Finding yourself in this position would make it virtually impossible to manage your finances, health and care unless you could appoint someone to act on your behalf. This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) comes in.
What is Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)?
Lasting Powers of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone else to run the financial affairs of another person with their permission. It can also allow them to take decisions about the health and welfare of that person if they no longer have the capacity to do so themselves.
Having one in place puts you firmly in control of your affairs as you decide exactly how much authority your ‘Attorney’ would have and whether you want to impose any restrictions. There are safeguards to make sure that your wishes are carried out, and the person acting on your behalf recognises the seriousness of their responsibility.
There are two types of LPA:
A property and financial affairs LPA allows your Attorney the power to deal with buying and selling your property, your bills, bank accounts and investments.
A personal welfare LPA covers decisions about health and care, even where you might live, if you’re unable to decide for yourself.
No one wants to lose their independence and rely on others to look after them. But having an LPA in place means someone you trust will be making decisions on your behalf if you can’t. That’s got to be a bit of weight off your mind.
Ann-Marie Matthews is a solicitor in the private client team at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Suffolk.