We all prefer to remain in control of our lives but sometimes accidents or illness can have such a profound impact that control is taken from you; lose control, and you’re at risk of losing your voice.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is one way of retaining control; you can put LPAs in place for your property and financial affairs, and for your health and wellbeing.
An LPA lets you choose who makes decisions for you (your attorney) when you can no longer do it for yourself. It gives you the opportunity to set out guidance for or to place restrictions on your attorneys, to state who can do what and when, and even to make provision for who should step in if your first-named attorney can’t act.
LPAs can only be made whilst you have the capacity to do so, and can’t be used until they are registered; registration can take many weeks, so it makes sense to put one (or both) in place sooner rather than later – just in case.
Without an LPA, no-one has authority to make decisions on your behalf – not even your spouse. If you lack capacity to make your own decisions (eg. as a result of an accident or illness) the only option is for someone to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy; that process is both lengthy and expensive, and you will have no control over who is chosen to act for you.
If you don’t feel that there is anyone that you can trust to act as your Attorney, discuss the matter with your solicitor. Often they are willing to take on the role so that you know someone will step in if needed.
An LPA is a safety net for both you and your loved ones. None of us knows what will happen tomorrow so it’s important to have one in place whatever your age or circumstances.
For further information or advice, please contact Claire Carberry or any member of our Private Client team.