The Benefit of Hindsight
So often my clients comment “I wish I had done that!” during the course of my work.
This mainly relates to a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Despite alerting clients to the importance of this document, all too often they think nothing will happen to them which will prevent them from managing their own affairs in the future. Those kinds of things always happen to someone else. It is human nature to think that we will never be faced with being physically or mentally challenged to make this a necessity.
Sadly of course, life often does not pan out the way we hoped and this is where having an LPA can make a significant difference. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. One for your property and financial affairs and one for your health and welfare. You can make either or both of these. They need to be registered with the Office of The Public Guardian before they can be used.
If you go to the trouble of making a Will to ensure your wishes are followed after your death, then it makes sense that you should also make provisions to ensure your wishes are followed whilst you are still here but incapable of carrying these out through mental or physical impairment.
Another common line is “I am fine, I don’t need a power of attorney”. Of course, the simple truth is, it is when you are fit and well that you need to put these important documents in place. If you wait until you are ill, or have had an accident which means you lose capacity, then it may be too late to do so.
None of us want to spend money on something that may never be used, however, an LPA is rather like insurance. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but if you do, you will be so glad you have it in place.
So what would happen if you did need this sort of assistance and you had not put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place? Well, the only option open to your family would be to apply to the Court for a Deputyship Order. This takes approximately six months. A long time to wait. Also, as the court is making decisions on your behalf, they will want to know everything they can about your financial circumstances in order to protect you as best they can. This of course will have a significant cost implication.
The most important thing of course, is making things as easy as possible for your loved ones.
With our help, making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a straightforward task, we do all the hard work for you. By spending a small amount now, you could save an awful lot of money and stress in the future.
If you would like to discuss creating an LPA, please contact Claire Warner by emailing Claire.warner@GAsolicitors.com or call 01752 203500.