Don’t take chances when it comes to your future…

Posted By: on 15th April 2019 | Category: Powers of Attorney

We all hope that we won’t become incapable of making our own decisions, but accidents can happen at any time and with one person developing dementia in the UK every three minutes, now is more important than ever to plan ahead and set up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) to ensure that your wishes are carried out during your lifetime.

An LPA is a legal document allowing you (the Donor) to choose as many people as you wish to make certain decisions on your behalf. There are two types of LPA – one for your property and financial affairs and one for health and welfare decisions.

Decisions about your property and financial affairs might include:-

  • Buying or selling property
  • Paying and discharging your debts and liabilities
  • Dealing with your tax affairs
  • Making limited gifts on your behalf to individuals and/or charities

Health and welfare decisions might include:-

  • Where you should live
  • What medical treatment you receive
  • Your day to day care, including what you eat and what you wear
  • Whether you should take part in social, leisure or educational activities including taking you on holiday or authorising someone else to do so

You might assume that your partner, spouse or children have an automatic right to make decisions relating to your health and financial affairs if you were unable to make decisions yourself, however this is not always the case. If you are unable to make decisions in the future and have not made an LPA, your friends or relatives may need to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy. This process can be complex, expensive and time consuming at a time when urgent action may be required. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that the Court of Protection will choose someone you would have chosen, so why take the risk?

There is a lot to consider when setting up your LPAs and all LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.

If you would like more information, please get in touch with a member of our private client team at the Hove office on 01273 722532 or the Horsham office on 01403 210200. We also have offices in Brighton and Worthing, so if either of those are your preferred location, please do let us know.

Read more on LPAs in Jenny’s article ‘Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is of benefit‘ and on our Powers of Attorney page.

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