It could be argued that a Lasting Power of Attorney is even more important than a Will, simply because you need it during your lifetime. An LPA is the bridge between your wishes and your family and trusted friends.
A Lasting Power of Attorney gives someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions and manage your affairs on your behalf, if either you’re unable to in the future or you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. There are two types: (a) property and financial affairs and (b) health and welfare. Anyone over 18 years old with mental capacity can make a Lasting Power of Attorney, appointing one or more attorneys.
There may come a time in your life when you are unable to manage your financial affairs or personal welfare, owing to some form of incapacity. To protect you and ensure the right decisions are made, you will need someone you trust to act on your behalf.
If you were to become incapacitated due to injury or illness, who do you TRUST to make important care and financial decisions on your behalf? Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, the decision is out of your hands.
What will happen if I do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An application has to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. There are three main problems:-
1. Lengthy delays
The process takes 9-12 months during which time your accounts (including joint accounts) are frozen, bills cannot be paid and insurance cannot be renewed.
2. Substantial costs
£2,500 - £3,000. Your accounts are frozen, so someone else will need to pay on your behalf. There are also ongoing Deputy charges and Court fees.
3. Losing control
A Judge will make the final decision as to who is appointed to deal with your affairs. Often it is not the person you would have chosen.
This person is called a Deputy and can often be a retired solicitor, court official or sometimes the Local Authority. Your family would have the added stress of dealing with Court appointed officials every time a decision is required. They would also have no official say in any medical treatment for you even if they knew what your wishes would have been.
The Court of Protection’s job is to safeguard the interests of people who are vulnerable and no longer have the capacity to make decisions for themselves. If you want your loved ones to care for you and make decisions on your behalf, then you need to ensure you have both Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
Don’t leave this critical decision to others, who may or may not have your best interests at heart – protect yourself, your family and your hard-earned assets with a Lasting Power of Attorney today. We know of customers who needed an LPA but couldn’t have one because they left it too late. The process of then going to the Court of Protection to take over the affairs of their loved one then became expensive, involved months of waiting and was soul destroying for the families involved.