By David Lamb
Most of us do not want to do think about our loved ones or ourselves losing mental capacity and many people think ‘it won’t happen to us, we’re fine’. But what would happen to our finances if this were to happen?
Effectively the Court (of Protection) comes along and puts a padlock on that person’s finances, and they and their family lose control of their money; cheques can’t be written, money can’t be transferred and bills cannot be paid. A deputy is appointed and so starts a long and expensive process.
The key to that padlock is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), but you can only buy that key when you have mental capacity. Once that is lost it is too late.
When you set up a Property and Financial Affairs LPA you can decide immediately what duties your nominated attorneys can help you with now, or only when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.
The following link is to BBC Money Box programme broadcast on 23 February 2021 that you should listen to: bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000sh8v or use your camera on your mobile phone to access via the QR code below:
When establishing a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, it would be prudent to consider a Health and Welfare LPA at the same time.
These focus on the personal aspects which affect your health and wellbeing, such as the treatments you have, where you are taken care of and if you need to be looked after in a nursing or care home. The Health and Welfare LPA can only be used when you no longer can make your own decisions.
I strongly recommend that you consider establishing Lasting Powers of Attorney whilst you still can before it’s too late. You never know what is around the corner.
You can make your own LPA by going to www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney, by approaching a local solicitor or contacting us for assistance.