Keep Control When You Lose Control: Make a Lasting Power of Attorney

It is now generally understood that making a Will is important to ensure that when you die your affairs are in order for the benefit of your loved ones.

Why then would you not take the same care to make sure your wishes are followed in your lifetime for your own benefit by signing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

What would happen to you and your finances if you can no longer make decisions about your finances or welfare or are legally considered to have “lost mental capacity”?

A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to legally manage your finances and/or your welfare when you are no longer able to do so.

Why You Should Put an LPA in Place Today: 

  1. DEMENTIA

In the UK, every 3 minutes someone develops dementia. In the UK, dementia affects 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 and 1 in 6 people over the age of 80. It is a leading cause of disability in later life.

You are more likely to suffer disability as a result of dementia rather than as a result of cancer, cardiovascular disease or stroke.

Statistically, you will develop dementia and will ultimately be left unable to manage your own financial or personal affairs.

Don’t leave things to chance; act now and plan ahead.

  1. ACCIDENTS & ILLNESS

Irrespective of age, anyone at any time can experience a life-changing event due to an accident or illness that results in a loss of mental capacity.

Accidents and illnesses are unpredictable but you can take steps to prepare for the worst by making an LPA.

  1. GOOD BUSINESS SENSE

It makes good business sense to appoint an attorney who you trust and who is able to manage your business affairs in your absence.

This is important if you travel abroad regularly or to ensure that you are prepared for the unexpected. Your attorney can act on your behalf immediately with your permission. 

  1. KEEPING YOU IN CONTROL

By preparing an LPA you get to choose who you want and trust to manage your financial affairs and welfare. You also get to choose when he or she can act on your behalf and how your attorney is to make certain decisions.

If you do not prepare an LPA an application can be made to the Court of Protection and you will have no control over who gets appointed and how they are to act.

  1. IF YOU LOSE CAPACITY AND DO NOT HAVE AN LPA

Your family and friends are not automatically entitled to access your money to assist with your future care needs and costs.

If you have investments these cannot be managed or monitored on your behalf to ensure that their value is preserved and that you continue to receive the best return for your investments.

While an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order to obtain permission to access your funds can be made by your family and friends, it is an expensive, stressful and complicated process.

  1. THE COURT OF PROTECTION

An application can be made to the Court of Protection (COP) for a Deputyship Order and this might be granted to someone that you do not know or who you deem to be unsuitable.

The court process is expensive, lengthy and stressful. An indication of the initial costs involved is set out as follows:

  1. Medical Report estimated £350.00
  2. Initial court fee of £400.00
  3. Legal fees from £850.00 plus VAT.
  4. A security bond (insurance) estimated £200.00
  5. COP Annual supervision fee set by the court £1,500.00

   7. AN LPA DIRECTLY BENEFITS YOU

People are increasingly reliant on family and friends for support when their health declines. Why not take the pressure and uncertainty out of the situation and formalise things for your benefit by preparing an LPA in the same way as you would prepare a Will to place your affairs in order for the benefit and ease of your loved ones?

An LPA would provide your chosen family members and friends with the legal authority necessary to assist you with paying your bills, managing your investments; and even with ensuring that you are receiving the correct medical treatments and care.

With our support and guidance we can help you through the LPA application process.

If you would like more information or advice about Lasting Powers of Attorney or the Court of Protection please contact Genevieve Gallagher on 0207 408 8896 or by email at genevieve.gallagher@dwfmbeckman.com.