Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?


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Many of us understand that if we lose the capacity to make our own decisions, a Lasting Power of Attorney allows a person that we appoint to do this for us. However, many of us put off making these simple documents, thinking we do not need them now and may not even need them at all.

“But won’t the court just appoint someone to look after me?”

If there are no Powers of Attorney in place, your loved ones must apply for Deputyship through the Court of Protection. However, most people do not understand what this process entails. Applications can take around eight months to process and incur significant fees. The court will dictate who looks after you and which decisions they are entitled to make. At a time when a person has lost capacity and needs decisions to be made for them, this can be extremely stressful, both for them and their loved ones.

“But I’m healthy, I don’t need to worry?”

1 in 4 people over 80 years of age develop dementia, and this is just one condition in which LPAs could be helpful. Additionally, it’s important to remember that these documents can only be made when a person has capacity; after this it is too late.

“I’m too young to need these?”

Mental and physical disability can affect people of all ages and a 2014 survey found that 24% of all critical illness insurance claims are from those between the ages of 25-40 and 40,000 out of the 850,000 dementia sufferers are younger people.

 “I already have an old style Enduring Power of Attorney”

Fantastic news, these are still able to be used and allow your chosen person to help manage your property, money and financial affairs.

BUT…

These can only be used (and registered) if you lack mental capacity; so they can’t be used if you are physically incapable or just want your attorney to help with your banking; only the new Lasting Powers of Attorney (after October 2007) can be used for this.

AND….

Enduring Powers of Attorney do not allow your attorneys to make decisions about your care, such as your daily routine (washing, dressing and eating), your medical care, moving into a care home, life sustaining treatment. Only a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can be used for this. The courts are reluctant to give attorneys full powers (if any) on these matters if appointed through a Deputyship order.

Solicitors Ipswich Suffolk – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk