Lasting Power of Attorney Guidance
As the UK population’s average age rises and people live longer the forecasts for the numbers who are expected to be living with dementia are quite staggering – according to the Alzheimer’s Society more than one million of us will be living with dementia by 2025!
Currently 1 in every 5 people over the age of 85 already suffer from dementia with women being significantly more prone to the disease than men. Now, whilst most people today either have a will, or at least recognise the importance of having one, the public perception of a Lasting Power of Attorney is much less well-formed.
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney legally allows a third party, generally, but not always, a close relative, to administer your financial affairs in the event that you lose the capacity to do so. Although dementia in the elderly is a common trigger for a Lasting Power of Attorney to kick in to effect there are many other circumstances which may dictate that you need someone to take control of your affairs temporarily.
Cases of hospitalisation or debilitation through illness or accident can often leave previously healthy adults incapable for longer or shorter periods and this presents massive issues for family members and especially dependents. In situations in which there is no Lasting Power of Attorney assigned dependents can lose access to bank accounts and other financial services that they rely on.
Without Lasting Power of Attorney you must go through the Court of Protection
Although there are a multitude of family and financial situations in today’s world many families and partners will maintain separate bank accounts, or maybe one partner has a business account with just their name on it. In these situations if the person whose name is on the account is incapacitated permanently or temporarily without a Lasting Power of Attorney document in place the other partner will not be able to access any of the bank accounts. You can imagine how this could be extremely serious for dependents who do not have any other sources of income.
Without Lasting Power of Attorney family members are forced to go through the Court of Protection and this is expensive, time consuming and long-winded process, which can leave dependents without funds for months and months!
Lasting Power of Attorney Documents Do Not Have To Be Expensive
Financial institutions, local authorities and care homes will require Lasting Power of Attorney to allow a family member to act on behalf of someone who is incapacitated. Tax, pension and benefit providers will also require them. Although legal documents a Lasting Power of Attorney can be set up reasonably cheaply and represent a binding legal agreement. It is highly recopmmended that anyone with dependents makes arrangements vis a lasting power of Attorney to save their loved ones much financial hardship and stress in what will be an already difficult time.
Discuss your LPA with us now by phoning 01245 460383 or email for further information on Lasting Powers of Attorney.