#YODO – Planning for the future with Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are legal documents by which you can appoint someone to deal with your property and financial affairs and/or to make health and care decisions in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.

LPAs can only be created when the person making the document (referred to as the Donor) has sufficient mental capacity to understand the document and its legal implications.  Unfortunately, many people leave it until their relatives have got dementia or otherwise become incapable of managing their affairs before they even consider creating an LPA.  Sadly, by this stage, it is often too late.

Banks and other financial institutions are becoming much stricter in insisting that family members have Power of Attorney before they can access accounts.  They can even prevent the co-owner of a joint account from accessing funds where the other party is incapacitated.   Without an LPA in place, once the Donor has lost mental capacity, the family have no choice but to make a lengthy and expensive application to the Court of Protection in order to gain access to bank accounts, sell a property etc.

LPAs are not just for the elderly.  Younger people ought to strongly consider creating LPAs to enable their family to assist if they were to go into hospital or become temporarily incapacitated, as well as being used in the longer-term.

By making an LPA now,  you can appoint someone you trust to take care of your finances and have peace of mind that your affairs will be in order should the document ever need to be used.

9-15 May 2016 is Dying Matters Awareness Week.    With an ageing population, none of us know what might be just around the corner.  Dying Matters #BigConversation and #YODO (you only die once) seeks to encourage us to talk more openly about dying and later life.  Planning for the future by making LPAs whilst you are still capable will be invaluable to your family if the documents are ever needed.

Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts team can give you professional advice tailored to your personal circumstances, to help you plan for the future and ensure that your affairs are in order.  Should you require any further information, please contact Lorraine Wilson in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Department on freephone 0800 975 2643 or send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online contact form.

This entry was posted in Wills, Tax, Trusts and Probate.