Why have a Lasting Power of Attorney?

I believe everyone should have one of these documents. I put it in the same category as insurance policies; you may never need it, but if you do thank goodness you have it.

Everyone knows they should have life cover and a Will, even if they haven’t got around to doing it, but having a Lasting Power of Attorney doesn’t seem to get the same level of publicity.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that will give your attorneys (the people you appoint) the power to make decisions on your behalf should the time come when you lack the capacity to do so yourself.

There are two types; one deals with your Property and Financial Affairs and the other with your Health and Wellbeing.

A person can lack capacity because of an injury or other condition, be it a car accident, stroke or dementia.

Without a LPA things can be very difficult for those around to be able to access your bank accounts, sell your property or even speak to an organisation on your behalf, in addition to not having the ability to make decisions about your care and where you might live.

If a LPA hasn’t been drawn up prior to capacity being lost, your close family or friends would need to apply for a deputyship order via the Office of the Public Guardian, which could take years and cost a lot of money.

High street banks have been known in recent times to freeze joint bank accounts when they discover one of the account holders has lost capacity, which, as you can imagine can be financially devastating for the other.

People often associate a LPA with the elderly, but in my opinion everyone should have one as we just don’t know what is round the corner.

Like I said before, a LPA is like an insurance policy – you may never need to use it, but, just in case an injury or condition occurs leaving you incapable. thank goodness you did it.

For more information and prices see our page http://www.abbottswills.co.uk/estate-planning/lpa/.

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