Lasting Power of Attorney Really is a Good Idea
Posted on 7th March 2017
Power of Attorney is not just for the elderly. As an Estate Planner, I see people all the time that have been thrown into a situation where a loved one, whether it be a spouse or partner or their son or daughter has had an unexpected accident, or has suddenly become very ill or has been diagnosed with a life changing illness. Recently I had a young girl in her late teens that had been diagnosed with having a brain tumor.
Life throws us these unexpected situations to deal with all the time, and on top of that we are an aging population, with medical advances, we are living a lot longer than we did even 20 years ago. As we live longer, the chances that we are diagnosed with a condition such as Dementia or Alzheimer's is more likely to happen.
Having a debilitating condition can make it more difficult for us to manage our own affairs, and then the burden falls on to our family and loved ones for them to try and sort thing out, often during a very emotional time. Sometimes we may not have close family, and I have see this often, where a person has suffered a stroke, they have no immediate family and it is a distant relative that is trying to sort things out, and often in these cases it can be that the courts decide that social services shall be the people in control of your affairs.
Taking steps to have Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that you are in control. How often do you think "that will never happen to me", we think we are indestructible and nasty things like illness only ever happens to older people, unfortunately that is not he case. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that the people that you have chosen can help with decisions and looking after your affairs should you be in the position that you have either lost capacity or that you are finding it difficult to look after your affairs.
If something unexpected happens and you have lost capacity to make decisions and look after your own affairs, and you have not got a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, then your family has to apply to the courts for what is called Deputyship. This is a very expensive and time consuming and it is down to the courts to decide who will look after your affairs, and it may not be the person that you would have chosen for yourself had you been able. There are also on going annual costs every year. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place is far cheaper, you are the person that has chosen the people to look after your affairs, and it is in place ready to use once it has been registered, so your family are not in turmoil wandering where to turn or what to do next.
Lasting Power of Attorney really is important, whereas a Will looks after your affairs when you have gone, a Lasting Power of Attorney helps look after your affairs while you are still living.
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Tagged as: Lasting Power of Attorney
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