Its never too early to think about the future
Many of us worry that as our loved ones get older, illness or mental incapacity may prevent them from managing their own affairs. We are right to worry because if nothing is done, even as next of kin, we cannot legally manage those affairs.
Our lawyers can advise you on the choices you can exercise now, to ease the future risks of failing mental capacity; such as ‘Lasting Power of Attorneys’ and ‘Living Wills’.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
This is a legal way for you (‘the Donor‘) to give someone else (‘the Attorney‘) authority to make decisions about your property and affairs and/or your personal welfare, in certain circumstances.
There are two types of LPA and you can create either or both:
- A Property and Affairs LPA which deals with your property and financial affairs if you lack capacity to manage them yourself or want some assistance; and
- A Personal Welfare LPA by which the Attorney may make health and social care decisions on your behalf at a time in the future when you become mentally incapable of making those decisions yourself.
Having an LPA in place provides you with peace of mind and ensures that your affairs are managed by those you trust, and that your wishes are known.
Court of Protection
If you leave it too late, your relatives can then apply to the Court of Protection for an order, appointing another person to make decisions on your behalf. Unfortunately this process can be both costly and time consuming.