It is a common misconception that your next of kin will be able to manage your affairs should you become unable to.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is the legal document that you need to make, whilst you have mental capacity, which enables you to appoint people to make decisions on your behalf, if required.
There are two types of LPA, one covering Property and Financial Affairs, and another covering Health and Welfare.
Having LPAs put in place well in advance of needing them provides peace of mind that your affairs are in order, ensures you have control over who manages your affairs in the future, and greatly reduces the stress and difficulties faced by your loved ones should there come a time when your LPAs are needed.
If you do not have LPAs in place and you no longer have the mental capacity required to make them, then a Deputyship Order will need to be applied for at the Court of Protection, which is a lengthy and costly process.
We would advise against waiting until you are older or unwell to set up LPAs, as once your LPAs have been signed, they must be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian, which is currently taking 20 weeks. This can therefore lead to a substantial period of time where your attorneys are left in limbo without any ability to safeguard your assets and manage your affairs for you. It is therefore important to plan ahead and have your LPAs put in place as soon as possible.
For more information on making LPAs, please contact our Private Client team in Telford, who will be more than happy to take you through the process step by step.
Telephone: 01952 641651