Why Appoint A Lasting Power of Attorney?
LPA – Financial Affairs
Most clients assume if they lose their mental capacity, their partner would be able to carry on operating their bank accounts and dealing with their financial affairs.
However, this commonly held belief is incorrect. If you lose mental capacity, a medical officer has to contact the “Court of Protection”. This government office will freeze all your assets including your bank accounts. This not only means your sole accounts but any joint accounts that you have. A joint account can only operate with both parties having capacity. This situation continues for several months until the “Court of Protection” appoints a Deputy. This is also time consuming and extremely costly.
A Financial Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where you nominate a spouse or trusted person to act on your behalf (your Attorney) and to look after your financial affairs if you lose capacity. Having a registered Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that your Attorney will have almost immediate access to your bank account and financial affairs.
LPA – Health & Care
If you lose capacity your loved ones do not have the authority to discuss your Health & Care needs with the Doctor.
With a Health & Care Lasting Power of Attorney your spouse or other loved ones can discuss your needs with the Doctor. The Doctor will listen to the nominated Attorney(s) as if it were the patient themselves.
When admitted to hospital, a nurse will ask if a registered Lasting Power of Attorney Health & Care document is available. This is noted on the admittance documents, which the Doctor refers to.
If no Health & Care document has been registered with the “Office of the Public Guardian”, the Doctor does not have to act on the families wishes with regards to the patient’s care.
Protect Your Future
LPAs are not just for the elderly! What if you loose your capacity through an accident or illness?