Why should I be thinking about making a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Tom pettman portrait.

Tom Pettman


Phone 01264 325810

Email tpettman@bsandi.co.uk

No one likes to think about the possibility of their health deteriorating in future years. However, part of being prepared for what may be in store means facing up to some uncomfortable subjects. It means accepting the likelihood of certain things becoming more difficult in later life.

But the positive side of this is that each of us has the opportunity, right now, to put plans in place – to make arrangements that could make our own futures, and those of our loved ones, more secure and more comfortable. When it comes to mental health, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a hugely important provision. Prepared while a person has mental capacity, it kicks into action if that capacity becomes lost. It sees people (‘attorneys’) being appointed to take care of financial or welfare-related decisions about the person who can no longer makes those decisions for themselves.

The fact is that an illness or accident could quickly, and without warning, take away mental capacity. In the case of dementia, this could be a longer process, giving people a window of time in which to plan for later life. But the key point about any situation involving mental capacity is that, once that capacity has been lost, it’s too late for the person at the centre of things to make an LPA. It’s too late for them to have control over who gets to decide what is in their best interests. That decision becomes one for the Court of Protection. While vital, the court route is less straightforward. Its process of appointing a ‘deputy’ (similar to an attorney) is more convoluted than having someone on-hand, appointed through an LPA and ready to step in.

With the start of a new year looming, perhaps now is the time to think about what you could be doing to better organise your affairs. In the case of an LPA, don’t leave it too long. There doesn’t have to be signs that mental ill-health could be on the horizon; an LPA is a provision that everyone should really consider putting in place.

To speak to us about making an LPA, contact us on 01264 353411 or email info@bsandi.co.uk.

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