When is a good time to make a power of attorney?
Many people think that a power of attorney should be made when you start to lose mental capacity or you become physically frail. This could not be further from the truth. The time to make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is when you are fit and able to make clear decisions about the people you wish to assist you.
Lasting powers of attorney are very valuable documents should you need them. They also give a lot of responsibility to your attorney(s). There are two types of LPA:
- Health and welfare
- Property and financial affairs
When making decisions about your finances or your health and welfare, you need to consider who would be best positioned to act for you. Your attorney should be someone you trust completely. Often people choose their child or children. Although you love your children, you should consider whether they can handle the responsibility of dealing with your financial affairs. Make sure that by appointing them you are not putting too heavy a burden on them. This applies of course, to any attorney you are thinking of appointing.
In making an LPA now, whilst you are able to make clear and rational decisions, you will be giving not only yourself peace of mind, but your loved ones as well, should the day arrive when you need assistance.
While the majority of people recognise that a will is the best way to ensure their wishes are carried out after their death, many fail to consider the time that they are still here but unable to make such decisions for themselves.
Don’t put off this important decision. If you don’t have an LPA in place and find that important decisions need to be made on your behalf, your family will need to apply to the court for a Deputyship Order. This can be very time consuming and costly.
If you have any questions, or would like to make a lasting power of attorney, please contact me via claire.warner@GAsolicitors.com or phone 01752 203500. GA Solicitors’ wills, trusts and probate team will be happy to help.
Claire Warner, associate legal executive