Research shows that those of us who are 50 or older are likely to live until we are at least 82. With approximately 60% of us over 65 years of age requiring some form of care, it is important to protect both ourselves and our families from the unnecessary and avoidable burden that can occur if a Power of Attorney is not made.
Thinking and talking about Lasting Power of Attorney may appear daunting and morbid. But utilising this legal tool ensures that in the event that you lose mental capacity you have a specific person, selected by you, to look after your financial affairs.
So, what exactly does happen if I don’t make a Power of Attorney?
An LPA can only be made before an individual loses mental capacity. Once drafted, the individual can choose whether this is registered and therefore effective right away. The LPA can only be used by the attorney in the event of lost mental capacity via illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other serious illness or accident.
If a person develops one of these illnesses and does not have an LPA, it makes it very difficult for family and friends to help as both you and them are unable implement your wishes. Without mental capacity you are unable make these decisions and without family and friends having the legal power to do this on your behalf, paying bills such as necessary care bills and making plans for future care is impossible.
If this happens, you would need to apply to the Court of Attorney for the position of Deputy. A family member or friend can apply and once you receive Deputyship, you have the same rights and role as an attorney would have.
So if that’s the case, why not just apply for Deputyship instead of making an LPA?
There are numerous practical reasons as to why an LPA should be made rather than applying for a Deputyship:
A Deputyship is far more time consuming and family and friends are likely to have to wait months until they are entitled to make decisions on your behalf.
It is also more expensive and so reduces the funds that are so often needed for other financial commitments.
There are also additional fees attached as a Deputy must pay ongoing annual fees.
The role of a Deputy includes administrative duties as they must complete an annual report which may be legal and jargon-heavy.
But perhaps more important than any of these practical considerations, is the benefit of alleviating the concern and uncertainty placed on both yourself and close family and friends if this circumstance arose.
During times of illness, isn’t it reassuring to know that these legal implications have already been dealt with, creating one less worry? Get in touch today to see how we can help you.