If you have no idea what a Lasting Power of Attorney is, you’re not alone. 88% of adults don’t have one according to a recent survey by Canada Life. Even if you’ve never heard of a Lasting Power of Attorney before, you need one. Here’s why they’re essential when you’re planning for the future.
A Lasting Power of Attorney puts you in control
A Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) lets you make decisions about what will happen if you aren’t able to manage your finances or make decisions for yourself. Your will lets your loved ones know what you want to happen after you’re gone. An LPA does the same job when you’re still here but in need of some extra help. We’re living longer but that comes with a risk that we’ll experience serious illness or dementia as we get older.
When you’ve got an LPA in place your representatives can make sure that your bills still get paid or that you can get the care you need, when you need it.
There’s more than one kind
There are two different types of LPA and you can have different representatives for each. The first is a finance LPA. This allows your attorney to manage your finances when you can’t. That could mean looking after simple tasks like making sure your gas bill gets paid on time. It could also involve making more complex decisions about your savings and investments.
The other type of LPA looks after your health and welfare. It means that your representatives can make decisions about any care you need. Your GP and local NHS team can make decisions for you, but this might not be what you would choose. Your representatives know you and can make decisions about how you’re fed, looked after and even where you live.
You can appoint the people you trust
When you create an LPA you can choose who you want to make decisions for you. This could be a family member or trusted friend. Think about who knows you best and who would make decisions with your best interests at heart. It can be a difficult decision, but the important thing to remember is that it’s your choice.
You can have one set of attorneys for financial decisions and another for health and welfare. You might have someone in mind who would be the best person to make decisions about your care but who doesn’t have the expertise to make finance decisions. The only rule is that you can’t be a finance attorney if you’re bankrupt or have a debt relief order in place.
Your family can’t help you without one
You might think that your family will be able to make decisions for you without an LPA. Unfortunately they can’t. Banking rules mean that your accounts have to be suspended to protect your interests if you can’t look after your own affairs. When you have an LPA that doesn’t happen. If you need to move to more suitable accommodation your family can’t sell your house for you without authority, even if you own your house jointly or have a joint bank account.
The only alternative to an LPA is to make a deputyship application to the Court. This costs a lot more than an LPA and takes longer. It can also tie you up in lots of red tape, depending on the decisions that need making.
Do you need to create an LPA? Get in touch using the contact form below or call us on 0116 380 0752.
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