Who would look after your affairs if you suffered a loss of capacity? Your spouse, a sibling or another person you trust? If you want it to be your decision, you will need a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Many people assume that, were they to suffer a loss of capacity, those closest to them could simply step in to make financial or welfare decisions on their behalf. However, this is not the case.
Without Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place, the situation is considerably more complicated, and can be physically and emotionally devastating for your loved ones.
The law is designed to protect the vulnerable
When a person is considered to have lost capacity:
- Social Services have a duty to inform financial institutions (Banks, Building Societies and Insurers).
- Financial institutions have a fiduciary responsibility to protect vulnerable clients by freezing assets and preventing any access to funds.
- Joint account holders do not have automatic rights to make financial decisions, access funds or make changes to policies.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney:
A Court Deputy would be appointed to look after your financial affairs and make decisions on your behalf. Their responsibility would only be to you and your welfare; they will not be able to take care of those who rely on you or who share your assets.
You must pay significant fees for the services of a Court Deputy.
Those closest to you would not have the right to make decisions about your medical treatment and welfare, including whether or not you need long term residential care and where.
When to make Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney must be made whilst you have full capacity.
Having LPAs in place means that, should you lose capacity in the future, someone you know and trust will be able to control your finances and make decisions about your medical treatment and general welfare.
To arrange a free consultation to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney call Sharon Rigden on 01772 431233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org