Did you know that there are currently 20,000 individuals living with dementia in Essex alone?
It’s a worrying statistic, and one that illustrates the impact that this devastating disease is having on communities up and down the country.
If you were to fall victim to dementia, over time you would almost certainly lose mental capacity. At this point, could you be sure that you could trust the people around you to act in your best interests?
For complete peace of mind, it is possible to choose who has the right to act for you by arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives another qualifying adult – known as the attorney – the legal authority to manage your affairs on your behalf.
We cannot stress enough how importance it is to secure an LPA sooner rather than later. Not having a Power of Attorney in place before you have lost the ability to make decisions for yourself could be both problematic and expensive for all involved.
This allows you to specify who will ensure that all your property and financial affairs will be looked after when you have passed on. For example, you can decide who you trust to operate your bank account, pay your bills, manage your tax and decide what to do with your home. You can however impose restrictions on the attorney: eg, you can prevent them from selling a second home which you left to a relative in your will.
This allows you to choose someone who you trust to make decisions about your healthcare and welfare. This includes decisions to refuse or consent to treatment on your behalf, or what medical treatment you are given. In this case the attorney may decide where you live, what you eat and drink, and even what you wear.
For an information pack on Lasting Power of Attorney please either call us on 01206 820638, or simply fill in your details here.
Anyone aged 18 or over with adequate mental capacity can make a Lasting Power of Attorney and appoint one or more attorneys to make decisions on their behalf.
In our experience, the best time to make a Lasting Power of Attorney is when you are still working and are young enough to benefit from the security it can offer your family and friends.
However, it is advisable to have an LPA in addition to a will if:
You may not be able to check up on your appointed attorney yourself if you become incapable, so it may be a good idea to appoint more than one person to help prevent abuse of the responsibility.
Choose people you can trust to act in your best interests. Consider how well they look after their own financial affairs, and whether you can trust them to use your money to meet your needs.
If you cannot find suitable attorneys, bear in mind that we are able to appoint professionals who will be able to undertake this important role for you.
If you lose capacity, it's a long, exasperating and expensive procedure to have the Court of Protection rule on who can deal with your affairs. Most people want them to be handled by a spouse, partner or children (who are invariably still around). These are people who can take care of you, and of course they are more likely to have your needs and wishes at the forefront of their minds.
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