Caversham Bridge Newspaper – August 2021
The following article is in the Caversham Bridge newspaper – August 2021. Caversham Bridge Newspaper is available to purchase from Fourbears Bookshop within Caversham. More details from The Caversham Bridge Website.
Be Prepared – Lasting Power of Attorney
by David Robinson
SADLY, LIFE changing events happen to people every day. Are you as well prepared as you could be? If for any reason you were unable to make decisions about your health and welfare, or financial affairs, who would do so for you?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where you appoint one or more trusted people as attorneys to act or make decisions on your behalf if you suffer temporary or permanent physical or mental incapacity. In such circumstances, having an LPA in place ensures your wishes are carried out by someone you trust who has your best intentions in mind.
I hope this information will help you understand about LPAs and why you should have them.
There are two types of LPA. We recommend setting up both at once:
Health and Welfare LPA
This covers decisions about simple matters such as your daily routine of eating, washing and dressing, through to medical care and life sustaining treatment.
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This deals with financial and property affairs, such as managing your bank accounts or investments, rental property, paying bills and claims for benefits or pensions.
When should I set up an LPA?
You must have mental capacity to set up an LPA, so I recommend you do so as soon as possible. An application can be completed promptly, but may take some weeks to be officially approved and registered by the Office of the Public Guardian. The LPA does not have to be used immediately, but it will be ready and prepared if it is needed.
What happens if I don’t have LPAs?
Without LPAs, a family may be unable to access or manage the finances of an incapacitated loved one. With the loss of capacity, it is too late to register an LPA. Relatives will need to apply for “Deputyship”, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. Once you have Deputyship, you then need to deal with ongoing costs and relationships with the Courts, which can hinder your requirements.
How do I set up Lasting Powers of Attorney?
There are two routes. You can do it yourself or get a professional to complete it for you.
For the DIY route you will need to complete the forms (from the gov.org website). Make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Have it witnessed and then submit to the Office of the Public Guardian with the relevant payment. Incorrect forms will be returned and you may have to pay the fees again.
As an alternative, a professional such as an Estate Planner or a solicitor will take your details, complete the form and ensure it is witnessed both appropriately and correctly. They then register the LPAs for you and deal with any further correspondence from the Office of the Public Guardian.
Whichever route you choose, I recommend you get LPAs in place. This can save you and your loved ones a lot of time, money and effort at a difficult time.
If you have any questions regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and no-obligation chat.