We all like to be in control of our own destiny which includes how we manage our finances and our health. Understandably none of us like to envisage how things would be if we had a debilitating illness, a stroke, a serious mental illness or a car accident leaving us either physically or mentally incapable.
You might assume that your spouse or adult child automatically has the legal right to ‘step into your shoes’ to contact the bank for example and to access to your finances and to make decisions about your health. This is not so.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they have lost capacity. The way to look at it is to think that you are doing this just in case it is needed.
There are two types of LPA: one for finance and property and another for health and welfare under which you can set out your views as to where you would wish to live if you had to go into residential care for example and guidance on your health needs.
If you do not have a valid Enduring Power of Attorney (which is the old style power of attorney which can no longer be created) or LPA and you become incapacitated then it will be too late to sign up to a LPA. Someone will have to apply to be a Deputy through the Court and this is expensive and time consuming. You will not have the ability to decide who would be the right person and someone with whom you do not see eye to eye could end up having control of your finances and making decisions about where you live and the medical treatment you should receive.
The answer is to act early and to be prepared. We can guide you every step of the way through the process. Please contact our Private Client Team on 01825 762281 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss your requirements.