A lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so.
With a LPA, you can appoint someone to make decisions or take action on your behalf. The person who is given this authority is known as an 'attorney'. Having a Power of Attorney in place allows you to stay in control of your affairs now and makes things easier for loved ones in the future.
Having a Power of Attorney in place allows you to stay in control of your affairs
1. Power of Attorney lasts for a lifetime, so the sooner you complete the paperwork, the safer you will be. By setting up a Power of Attorney when you’re mentally fit, you’re saving time, money and emotional distress for your loved ones if the time comes when you’re no longer able to make your own decisions.
2. People don’t always realise that there are two types of Power of Attorney: one for finance and property, and another for health and welfare. The processes are similar for both. The biggest difference is that the health and welfare one can only be used after the person loses capacity, not before.
3.There's no specific age when you should get a Power of Attorney. Young people can lose capacity through accidents but if someone is diagnosed with a condition that’s likely to cause loss of mental capacity, they should act quickly and apply as soon as possible.
4. Before applying for a Power of Attorney, it’s important to select the right person for the job. It should be someone you trust to understand your wishes. Most people choose their spouse, partner, relatives or a close friend. Attorneys must be over 18 years of age and can’t be bankrupt. You can select more than one person and have joint-attorneys.
5. An important part of the application process is a face-to-face appointment with a solicitor or specialist consultant. They will determine that you understand what you’re doing before proceeding with the paperwork. Without full mental capacity the consultant will be unable to process your Power of Attorney. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that a Power of Attorney is organised in advance.
6.Registering a Power of Attorney when you are younger and mentally able ensures it's ready to use if urgently needed. Without Power of Attorney it can be complicated and stressful for loved ones to legally make decisions on your behalf.
Thanks to Elaine Edwards at later-life provider Golden Charter
- If you need help setting up Power of Attorney, Yours Retirement Services can take care of the whole process for you. Simply call Yours Retirement Services free on 0808 156 9012 and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help. Our office hours are Monday – Thursday, 9am – 7pm, Friday, 9am – 5:30pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm. Or you can find out more here.