Glanvilles – Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are documents whereby you appoint an attorney, or attorneys, to manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf if you are not able.
There are two types, one covers property and financial affairs and the other covers health and welfare decisions.
These documents are considered to be documents for older people and this is understandable as people often need a trigger to look at their particular affairs. For example, it is common for people to consider these documents following a diagnosis of a degenerative condition like dementia or Parkinson’s disease and these are typically diagnosed in older age.
It is less common for younger people to consider these documents but unfortunately accidents can happen to us all. In fact, it is arguable that for younger adults a loss of capacity is likely to be as a result of something happening quickly, such as an accident. Therefore, there would be no forewarning as there often is with a diagnosis of a medical condition and once you lose capacity it is too late to make an LPA.
Furthermore, just because someone is younger, it doesn’t mean that their affairs would be any less complicated to pick up the pieces. In fact, it is often more complicated because of factors such as mortgages, young children, business assets and facing a longer period without capacity.
For many it comes down to weighing up the chances of having to use the document and the cost of making the documents. Many people may never need to use their LPAs but we consider the documents to be like an insurance policy; if you’ve made an LPA and you need to use it, then they are in place without your family having to worry about being able to act on your behalf.
If you haven’t made an LPA and you become unable to make decisions for yourself, your family or even a third party like the Local Authority would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed on your behalf. This takes much longer to do and is more expensive than you having chosen the person who is to act for you yourself.
It need not be all doom and gloom however, and there are many other reasons why someone might want to appoint attorneys. LPAs are particularly useful in protecting the vulnerable and disabled. It may be that a young adult has severe learning difficulties or communication difficulties and as a result would benefit from someone being able to help them manage their affairs long term
Melissa Reeds is a Solicitor at Glanvilles LLP specialising in Wills, Powers of Attorney and elderly client matters. Please contact her on [email protected] or (01983) 527878 for a free initial consultation.
Visit glanvilles.co.uk for more information
Glanvilles, The Courtyard, St. Cross Business Park
Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5BF