5 reasons you should put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place now
You might think you only need to worry about a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) as you get older. However, illness or an accident could mean you lose capacity at any time. Setting up an LPA can give you peace of mind that your finances and welfare will be looked after if you are no longer able to.
An LPA is a legal document that allows you to choose a trusted individual to manage your affairs should you become incapacitated through accident or illness. They can be made by anyone over the age of 18, and despite the name, they can be temporary or last for the rest of your life.
There are two main types:
- A Health and Welfare LPA covers things like your daily routine, medical care and moving into a care home
- A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your chosen attorney to manage your finances, pay bills and collect benefits on your behalf
You can only put an LPA in place whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. It might not be something we want to think about but preparing for the unexpected now could have benefits in the future. Here are five reasons you should consider putting an LPA in place.
Five reasons to put an LPA in place now
1. Decisions can be made quickly
If you become incapacitated without an LPA in place, your loved ones will have to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy. This is time-consuming and could leave them facing financial hardship whilst the application is processed.
It can take up to three months from the point the application is received by the Court of Protection. And they might have to pay up to £365, compared to the £82 it costs to register an LPA yourself.
Once appointed, they’ll also need to pay an annual supervision fee to the Office of the Public Guardian, plus a £100 assessment fee if they’re a new deputy.
Put an LPA in place now and if you become incapacitated your trusted attorney can deal with your affairs straight away. Once the LPA is registered (more on registering later) your family can use it to make sure you – and they – are looked after.
2. You are in control
You can only appoint an attorney whilst you have the mental capacity, which means you have control over who you choose and can do so without risk of coercion.
You can also restrict the sort of decisions your attorney can make – excluding decisions on a property for example, or end of life care. This gives you added protection.
But remember, a Health and Welfare LPA only triggers when you are incapacitated, at which point you won’t be able to make changes to it. Think about the long-term implications of any restrictions you add.
3. You choose who looks after your affairs
An LPA lets you choose a person you trust to look after your affairs. And, you don’t need to limit yourself to just one attorney.
You can nominate multiple people and decide whether they must act together or can make decisions independently. You can also choose successors. These options protect you if an appointed attorney dies.
As well as picking someone you trust, you should think about the expertise the person you appoint might need. If you own a business, for example, you might appoint a colleague or business partner specifically to look after your business interests.
You could also consider a business LPA. This can help to ensure your business continues to run smoothly. Someone who knows the business well can be appointed to assign key tasks or employ new people. They might also be responsible for complying with any regulatory or legal business requirements.
4. It covers all eventualities
An LPA can be used for temporary situations – such as hospitalisation after an accident – as well as for long-term conditions such as dementia.
Either way, it only becomes legally binding once it is registered. This is done at the Office of the Public Guardian.
A Health and Welfare LPA is triggered once you become unable to make decisions yourself. A Property and Finance LPA can come into force whenever you choose (although the registering process can take up to three months).
If you set up an LPA temporarily, once you can prove mental capacity, you can apply to alter or remove it.
5. Peace of mind
Register an LPA once and it can remain in place for your lifetime. You have peace of mind that your financial affairs and wellbeing will be looked after if you are no longer able.
And because you have chosen your attorney, you know you can trust them to act in your best interests.
Seek our advice when setting up your LPA and we can help you ensure that all outcomes are covered, providing you and your loved ones with protection should the unexpected happen.
Get in touch
We can recommend a range of trusted professionals who can help you with setting up and registering an LPA, just get in touch at email@example.com or call 01491 612 754.