Recently discussions regarding handing over authority to another person to act on your behalf should you become mentally or physically incapable have been rife. Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) have been all over the newspaper headlines because some family members have been abusing their power, whilst others have become frustrated by banks refusing to acknowledge theirs.
People can become unable to manage their own affairs or need assistance in doing so, at any stage of life. An accident, physical ill health or the onset of mental illness may make the everyday routine of paying bills, writing cheques etc both difficult and stressful and, in some cases, impossible.
The LPA system is an insurance policy against problems that may occur later in life. It is advisable to put an LPA in place while you can – if it never has to be used, nothing is lost, but it makes things much easier should physical or mental health issues make it difficult to look after your own affairs. Friends and family do not automatically have the right to take over, and signing an LPA can ensure peace of mind that someone you trust will be able to look after the things that matter.
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and mentally capable can make an LPA. The completion of a Lasting Power of Attorney does not restrict your right to go on looking after your own affairs so long as you are able. Before the LPA can be used, it needs to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
Inevitably, appointing an Attorney is not a simple process and rules have been put in place to ensure that the system is not abused.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important matter. Many people begin to consider making an LPA at a time when their mental and physical health is beginning to decline, which is a difficult time for any family. This is where Wrigley Claydon can help.