With increasing life expectancy more people are choosing to use Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) to give them the reassurance over what will happen if they lose the capacity to make decisions about their finances, health or welfare.
LPAs can save a great deal of time and distress for you and your family at the point when you need it most.
Here are our tips for ensuring that LPAs provide the security and reassurance you are seeking.
1 Choose Attorneys Carefully
The best choice may not be the most obvious or your closest relative. Remember this person (or people) will be making important decisions on your behalf. You want to be confident that they are competent and will make the choices you would if you could decide for yourself.
2 How Many?
Normally it is appropriate to nominate more than one attorney. Decide whether attorneys should always act together, or under which circumstances they can act alone.
3 What if Something Happens to your Attorney?
When the time comes it’s possible that your chosen representative may not be able to act on your behalf. Consider nominating a replacement just in case.
4 Consider the Scope
Should your attorneys be able to make all decisions, or do you want to restrict their powers in certain areas?
5 Provide Guidance Where Possible
Rather than leave it up to your attorneys to interpret your wishes, consider whether specific guidance might be helpful in certain areas, such as how or when to dispose of property or assets if you need to pay for care. The guidance provided can be informal or prescriptive, depending on circumstances.
6 Future Applications for Registration
Decide who will be notified regarding any future applications. This person will be able to object if they suspect your best interests or wishes are not being followed. They cannot be one of your existing attorneys.
7 Act Now
Too many people leave it too late to think about LPAs. The sooner you make the arrangements you are happy with, the better.