More and more people are now, when making or amending their Will, also creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA is a document in which a person can set out their desires, both in terms of finances, and their health and wellbeing, should they lose mental capacity for any reason.
It is unfortunately a sad reality of life that while we are all living longer, the prevalence of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and strokes is increasing, meaning there may come a time when we are unable to manage our own affairs.
An LPA nominates a person, which is usually either a family member or friend, to act as your ‘Attorney’ should you no longer be capable of managing your affairs. In such an event, the Attorney is able to register the LPA with your bank, and various other organisations, and will be able to handle your finances, pay bills and do all of the other day to day tasks that you are no longer able to do.
It is also possible to set out in an LPA your desires for your future medical treatment – there may be certain procedures, or outcomes that you do not wish to have to endure – setting these out in an LPA ensures that your wishes in this regard will be honoured, even if you are no longer able to express those wishes yourself.
The important aspect of LPAs is that they must be made while you still have mental capacity. They cannot be made once a person becomes incapable. As such, at Wadsworths we advise all clients, however old and in whatever state of health, to consider making an LPA, to ensure that should the worst happen and mental capacity is lost, their wishes are already recorded and will be honoured.
We keep these prices deliberately low in the hope of encouraging people to make LPAs – rather like Wills, they can often be put off, or thought of as being something unnecessary at the present moment – but it is often the case that when they are really needed, when mental capacity begins to deteriorate, it is too late to take one out.
We also offer an entirely free, no obligation LPA review service, to discuss your circumstances and whether an LPA would be of benefit to you.