According to new research from Direct Line Life Insurance, more than 80 per cent (41.6 million) of adults mistakenly believe that their loved ones would automatically be allowed to take over their affairs and make decisions on their behalf if they were to lose capacity.
Only 14 per cent have established a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA is a legal document which enables a person (whilst they still have mental capacity) to appoint one or more trusted friends or relatives to help them make decisions, or make decisions on their behalf, if they are incapacitated through accident or illness and ‘lack mental capacity’.
There are two types of LPA, one for your property and financial affairs and another for health and welfare matters. You can provide clear guidance under a health and welfare LPA as to your medical needs and requirements, including whether you would wish to receive life sustaining treatment. You can also set out your views on where you would wish to live if you should need to go into residential care. With a property and financial LPA, you can ensure that your personal finances are taken care of. If you are a business owner, then an LPA can be drafted to cater for that too.
More than two thirds of adults are not aware of a Lasting Power of Attorney. Without an LPA in place or valid Enduring Power of Attorney (the old-style power of attorney) someone’s spouse or partner may not be able to access their assets or manage their financial affairs and they would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be a Deputy in order to do so. Applying to the Court of Protection is both time consuming and expensive.
The solution is to be prepared and act early. We are here to help and will be happy to guide you through the LPA process.
If you would like more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact Lisa Hills Tagg.