Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is just as important as a will...
There are many misconceptions around Lasting Power of Attorney.
1. It means giving up control
Actually, no. If you specify, your chosen attorney can only make decisions for you if you are unable to. For example if you are in a coma following a car accident. Once you regain consciousness, and your mental capacity, you will regain control of your affairs
2. You don’t need one unless you are old
Sadly, there is no set age when tragedy can befall you. A Lasting Power of Attorney isn’t just used for dementia type illnesses. A stroke, coma, delirium, concussion, severe mental health problems, neuro-disability/brain injury, alcohol and drug misuse can affect any one at any age.
3. My Spouse/Partner/Parents/Children can deal with everything
Surprisingly, they are legally not allowed to do this. Finding this out puts unnecessary pressure on your loved ones when they would rather be caring for you in your time of need.
4. You can get one if you need to
This is the biggest, and most dangerous myth. By the time it is needed, it is already too late. If you lose mental capacity without a Power of Attorney in place, your loved ones will need to apply to the Court of Protection to become 'deputy'. This can take several months (during which time your bank accounts could be frozen, your affairs neglected, and medical decisions made without your wishes in mind), and is a very expensive process. Furthermore, annual fees will need to be paid to the Court.
There are actually two types to consider: one for finance and property, and another for health and welfare. You can have both in place, or only one.
And you can have separate people as attorney for each – if you instruct one person as an Attorney for Property and Finance, they can’t make your Health decisions, and vice versa.
A LPA is a powerful legal document, and we feel that everyone should have them to protect themselves and those important to them. Contact us for more information.
Willow Tree Financial Services