Most people know that they should write a Will, but not many people know that they should also consider something called a Lasting Power of Attorney.
By 2025, more than one million people in the UK will have dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Society. One in five people over 85 already suffers from it, with rates significantly higher among women than men.
Why Set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you lose mental capacity, unless you have already filled in the Power of Attorney Forms and they have been registered, with the Office of the Public Guardian, your loved ones will need to apply through the Court to become a "Deputy", a lengthy and expensive process.
Instead you can nominate a trusted friend or relative before you lose capacity, by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are designed to be recognised by financial institutions, care homes and local authorities, as well as tax, pension and benefits authorities. You should consider having one alongside your Will.
Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced in October 2007, replacing the previous system of Enduring Powers of Attorney although Enduring Powers of Attorney created before October 2007 remain valid.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one that covers decisions about money matters, known as a Lasting Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions, and one that can cover decisions about health care, known as a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Care Decisions?. One of the main differences is that a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used while someone still has capacity, whereas a Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once they have lost capacity.
An Attorney acting under a Financial Decisions Lasting Power of Attorney can make decisions on things such as selling your property, dealing with your bills, running your bank accounts and investing your money. If they have a Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney they can make decisions about where you should live, how you should be treated medically and many other decisions related to your care. If you wish to discuss this matter further then please do not hesitate to contact either Sarah Loveless or Justine Alford of this firm at email@example.com.
Burningham & Brown is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - SRA Number: 00044479