With an ageing population and a rise in the number of cases of dementia and other long-term conditions, many people worry about what’ll happen to them as they get older. One area of concern is looking after their finances when they may not be able to do so, and that’s why many people choose to nominate a power of attorney. A lasting power of attorney, or LPA, is a document that allows you to nominate other people to make decisions on your behalf, but is it right for you?
When can I nominate a power of attorney?
Anyone over the age of 18, who currently has the mental capacity to make their own decisions, can get an LPA. An LPA can relate to your health and welfare, can give power over your financial affairs and property, or can be granted for both. Many people get them drawn up when revising their wills, or when they’ve been diagnosed with a condition that could cause them to deteriorate in future, but any adult can get one done now in case they need it in future.
Who should I appoint?
When choosing someone to be your attorney, it’s important that they’re also an adult and have the mental capacity to take on your decisions. They could be a relative, friend, solicitor, or spouse, but should be:
- Someone you know well
- Someone you trust to have your best interests at heart
- Someone who is willing to take on the extra responsibilities that come with being an attorney
- Someone who takes good care of their own finances etc.
Setting up an LPA is a fairly simple process, you simply need to fill in the forms that are then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, but it’s choosing the right attorney that can often be the trickiest part.
What can an attorney do?
Once you no longer have mental capacity to take care of your decisions, your LPA is put in place. If your LPA relates to property and financial affairs, your attorney will be able to take care of your money, bills, bank accounts, property, investments, trusts, pensions and more. Attorneys who have been nominated for health and welfare can help make decisions with regards to your medical care, day to day routine, and consenting to or refusing treatment. That’s why it’s so important that you trust them.
Can my attorneys change?
Yes, attorneys can be changed if you change your mind, as long as you still have the mental capacity to make decisions. They can also be removed from the LPA if they lack their own mental capacity, become bankrupt, or die. Otherwise, an LPA is in force until the donor dies.
Plan for your future by getting in touch with Heritage Will Writers on 01603 894500. Whether you’re looking to update your will or get an LPA, Heritage Will Writers work with clients across the South East of England to offer a friendly and professional service.