David Thornton, Senior Legal Executive in our Wills & Probate department at Owen Kenny, says “We all know that we should write a Will, but too few of us know we should also consider something called Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). These can help you plan how your health, wellbeing and financial affairs will be looked after. They allow you to plan in advance the decisions you want to be made on your behalf if you lose capacity to make them yourself and, appoint the people you want to make these decisions”.
Who needs a LPA?
If you’re aged 18 or older and have the mental ability to make financial, property and medical decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for you in the future. This legal authority is called “lasting power of attorney”.
By 2025, more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. One in five people over 85 already suffers from it, with rates significantly higher among women than men. Handling your financial affairs becomes virtually impossible – which is why charities who care for the elderly recommend everyone plans ahead to ease the potential burden on our relatives.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA?
If you lose the capacity to make your own decisions and you don’t have a valid lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity. However, they are reluctant to appoint a deputy to make decisions about your Health and Welfare and very often these will continue to be made by Social Services and Health care workers with next of kin/loved ones often not being as involved as they would like to be in these types of decisions. The appointment to become a deputy can take up to 12 months and solicitors fees to apply for the deputyship order range from between £1200 – £2000 plus VAT. There is also a Court Fee of £365 a security bond fee, GP Medical Certificate fee and annual reports must be filed with the Court of Protection.
To make an appointment with David Thornton, or with a member of our Wills & Probate team, please call 01243 532777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.