1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have some form of dementia in the UK, with someone developing the disease every 3 minutes. Please do not assume that someone can act on your behalf should you lose your faculties.
Many people don’t know that their relatives have no automatic legal right to manage their affairs should they lose their mental faculties. They can only do this with a valid Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) (or Enduring Power of Attorney).
We are aware it is a difficult conversation to have, but you need to protect you and your loved ones should you lose capacity.
So what is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A LPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (known as Attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. A LPA is a completely separate legal document to your Will.
Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney so important?
Once you have a LPA in place you can have peace of mind that there is someone you trust to look after your affairs if you became unable to do so yourself.
Having a LPA in place can allow your attorney to have authority to deal with your finances and property as well as make decisions about your health and welfare. Your LPA can include binding instructions.
You can only put a LPA in place whilst you are mentally capable of understanding the nature and effect of the document. After this point, you cannot enter into a LPA and no one can do so on your behalf.
What Happens Without a Lasting Power of Attorney?
★ You will have no one to look after your affairs
★ Your loved ones will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be your Deputy, which can be a lengthy and costly process
★ You cannot select that person yourself
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney explained
There are two types of LPA:
★ Property and Financial Affairs; and
★ Health and Welfare.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows you to name Attorneys to deal with all your property and financial assets. The LPA document can be restricted so it can only be used if you were to lose mental capacity, or it can be used more widely, such as if you suffer from illness, have mobility issues, or if you spend time outside the UK.
A Health and Welfare LPA deals with your day-to-day healthcare, medical treatments and social care arrangements if you lose the ability to make those decisions yourself. Unlike the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, this document will only ever become effective if you lack the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
With the dramatic increase in investigations into attorneys and errors on LPAs by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), it is important that you seek advice of experts, such as our team here at Farani Taylor Solicitors.
For peace of mind, we can take full responsibility for the registration of your LPA with the OPG, which will require payment of both our fixed fee and the OPG registration fee which is currently £82 per each LPA.