Imagine you had a stroke today and ended up in hospital, it happens and without Lasting Power of Attorney documents (LPAs) in place your family and friends could have their hands tied and be unable to make the decisions you would want them to, putting you at the mercy and control of the Authorities.
In much the same way that Wills work, you cannot wait until the event date to decide to put yours in place, in other words you would not write a Will just after you have died, now would you?
You get tochoose in advance who you would want to handle your affairs should the worst happen in the future. You musthave the mental capacity to do so, and with us all getting older, the benchmarkis that you consider setting up your Lasting Power of Attorney documents from 50 years of age. Unfortunately the risk of a stroke or heart attack, or indeed any other debilitating illness increases from this point, hence the general recommendation.
Leaving it too late to set up your Lasting Power of Attorney documents, and your family will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Appointment, which is a very costly and lengthy process and the application has to be renewed every three years and the Appointed Deputy has to produce annual accounts, not good if you dont like doing accounts!
There are two types of LPA, one is foryour property and financial affairs (PFA) and the other handlesyour health and welfare (HW). Managing the money is easy to understand, whereas managing the person is probably the more important one to have in place because it will allow your family to make decisions about where you live, what drugs you are on, when the hairdresser comes and so on, and gives your Attorney the power to override decisions made by medical staff and/or Social Services about your care, including but not limited to consent to refuse or continue life sustaining treatment on your behalf. What would you want to happen in these circumstances? Now I have got you thinking…
If you havent done yours yet, contact us for help and advice, it is what we do.