Introduction to Lasting Powers of Attorney

Most people think of a Will as the most important document to be made by anyone, and true it does pass your money in hopefully the most tax-efficient way to those that you love. However, when asked most people I bet would say that they would rather have you there than the money you left. That is why I personally think an LPA is the most important document you will ever make because it is about YOU. You are important and how you want to spend your money and how you want to be treated should be documented so that when you are unable to act for yourself there are clear instructions as to your wishes. It ensures that your interests are protected during the use of the LPA to your death. This is what a Lasting Power of Attorney is for!

SO WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AND LPA

There are a variety of benefits to having an LPA. I have listed a few below and these can relate to both Property and Financial Affairs (PFA) LPA or a Health and Welfare (HW) LPA.

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  1. An LPA is a useful document which can be used not only if you lose mental capacity but with the PFA it can be used, for physically issues due to illness, accidental fall, hearing loss, sight loss or mobility issues. So it can be used when you need it and put aside when you don’t.
  2. An LPA gives you a voice when you need it and allows you to plan in advance who can make decisions on your behalf. It can give guidance to your attorneys as to what your wishes are so there is no misunderstanding.
  3. It gives power to your loved ones rather than someone you have not chosen, ie social services, etc.
  4. Saves money in not having to go down the Court of Protection route, which is often costly, time-consuming and stressful for your loved ones.
  5. Offers peace of mind that your financial affairs will be attended to like, paying bills such as utility bills and care home fees, claiming benefits, pensions and allowances, operating a bank or building society accounts, giving gifts to family members or charities and finally buying or selling the property if required.
  6. With a PFA LPA, your loved ones will find it much easier to manage your financial affairs for you effectively as they will have the legal authority to do so.
  7. With an HW LPA your Attorneys can make decisions regarding your personal welfare, and any medical treatment that you may need.
  8. An HW LPA allows you to discuss in advance your preferences regarding your care and treatment should you lose mental capacity.
  9. With an HW LPA your attorneys can make decisions on things such as your day-to-day activities like your diet, dress, or daily routine. The kind of accommodation best suited for your needs such as whether to stay in your home with support for a move into residential or other care outside your home and on giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions.
  10. So an LPA gives you a great opportunity to set your wishes out

So why don’t people make LPAs as a matter of course? When I sampled this question the responses I had back were as follows:


1. Don’t know where to start or fear of the unknown
2. Too expensive.
3. They are only for old people.
4. Never going to happen to me.
5. Not enough time or Procrastination.
6. Lose control.


All reasonable you feel but I am now going to bust those MYTHS. Oddly when asked what would they feel if they did their LPAs they replied, RELIEVED, GREAT, HAPPY and ORGANISED.

MYTH BUSTING

1. Don’t know where to start or fear of the unknown

Pen and Paper on a desk



As I have previously said LPAs are the most important documents you will ever make.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney that you can make:

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA (PFA) which allows someone else to make decisions about money matters — on things such as buying and selling your property, dealing with your bills, running your bank accounts and investing your money. This is the most essential type of Power.

A Health and Welfare LPA (HW) allows you to nominate someone to make decisions about your welfare – where you should live, what you should eat and who you should have contact with, and about your health care – how you should be treated medically. You can also express your wishes about life-sustaining treatment. This type of Power only came into existence a few years ago but is increasingly looked for by healthcare professionals when considering who to consult and who can speak for the person they are treating.

2. Too Expensive.

Mug on a desk

LPAs are as expensive to make as you are willing to pay. I say this because anyone can do them online for free. I personally would not recommend it, as there are numerous pitfalls in doing so. What I would say is how important are you. You will purchase insurance for your house, car, travel, health every year, on the premise that you might need it. EVERY YEAR!!!. LPAs are a one off purchase, that covers you for the rest of your life, if done right. What better insurance is there?

There are a number of options open to you to get LPAs done, as I said you can do them yourself or get someone you know to help you, but I would not
recommend it, you can also visit a professional. Be sure they have the necessary knowledge, explain everything to you and cover the registration process too. I always see my clients at home for no extra charge. I like people to be relaxed and comfortable and there is nowhere better than home. As a guide to pricing my fees for one power is £210 for two £350 and
for four £700 ( i.e., a couple have both types of LPA each) which includes the all the applications and notices for registration, not a bad price for peace of mind for life.

Whatever option you chose the LPAs will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used. This costs £82 for each power being registered for, although, if you have a personal income of less than £12,000 you may qualify for a 50% discount (and if you are on certain means-tested benefits you may be fully exempt).

3. There are only for old people and
4. Never going to happen to me.

Do you drive a car? Do you go on holiday? When reading the news, you see travel delays, car accidents, flooding, personal anguish all the time, So you will see it can happen to anyone and it does not discriminate to age. The fact an PFA can be used, for physical issues due to illness, accidental falls, hearing loss, sight loss or mobility issues, means an LPA can be used in a number of situations at any time in your life. The problem occurs when you have not made one and then you need it, eg. you are on holiday and you get a broke leg or wrist, you become stranded aboard and you need help. You will be put on the back foot and it could cost you time, money and stress, all of which you do not want when you have other issues to deal with. An LPA gives you the security in case anything sudden should happen.

5. Not enough time or procrastination.

I visit all my clients in their own homes so there is no travel time to take into account. So saving you time already. Appointments usual last 60-90 mins, so the length of a football game, an episode of Midsomer Murders, going for a hair cut or a cuppa with a friend. At the meeting all the information is taken so the documents can be produced. The only other time element is a quick meeting to sign everything up. So not that much time, everything taken care of for you and peace of mind for the time of a cuppa with a friend.

6. Lose Control

This could not be further from the truth. In fact an LPA puts you in control and ensures you retain it even if you lose capacity. Why, because with a properly drafted LPA you can set its terms, say when and how it is to be used. You can give instructions and also guidance as to your preferences or dislikes.

Mandy Tourle

CALL ME NOW TO MAKE THE MOST
IMPORTANT DOCUMENT OF YOUR LIFE
02381 842776 or email me:
mandy@paperwisesolutions.co.uk