This week we are supporting Dementia Action Week. None of us know what is round the corner, and indeed if we may be diagnosed with dementia in the future. Nafisa Hussain is a solicitor in our wills probate and estate planning team, and a Dementia Friend. She explains the importance of planning for the future, and why it is beneficial to make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
| What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to appoint a trusted individual to make decisions on their behalf, in the event that they become unable to do so themselves. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as mental or physical incapacity, or simply being out of the country for an extended period of time. It covers both financial and health-related decisions.
It is a crucial step in planning for the future, and it can protect you and your loved ones in the event of a mental incapacity. The emotional toll of losing your mental capacity is immense, and it can be difficult to think about the potential consequences. But the reality is that without an LPA, you could be leaving important decisions about your health, welfare and finances in the hands of strangers. This can be a frightening prospect, especially if you have specific wishes or beliefs that you want to be respected. An LPA ultimately allows you to take part in the decision-making process, giving you a sense of control and dignity.
| Why should I have a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Creating an LPA is a way to take control of your future and ensure that your wishes are respected, even if you are unable to express them yourself. By choosing someone you trust to act as your attorney, you can have peace of mind knowing that they will make decisions with care and attention, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
An LPA can protect you in many ways. For example, if you become unable to manage your finances, your attorney can take over and ensure that bills are paid, taxes are filed and your money is used in the way that you would want. This can be a huge relief to family members who may otherwise struggle to manage your affairs without legal authority. In terms of your health and welfare, an LPA can also be vital. If you are unable to communicate your wishes about medical treatment, for example, your attorney can make decisions on your behalf. This can be especially important if you have strong feelings about end-of-life care, such as whether or not you want to be resuscitated or kept on life support.
In summary, creating an LPA is an essential step in planning for your future. It can be a difficult thing to think about, but by taking action now, you can ensure that you have the legal protection and support you need, no matter what the future holds. So, take the time to consider your options, choose someone you trust, and create an LPA today.
Our team is made up of solicitors who have many years of experience in advising on Lasting Power of Attorney. If you would like to discuss making an LPA, please book an appointment online or call us on 0800 988 7756.