Recent statistics reveal that, despite an ageing population, only one in four hundred people have registered a lasting power of attorney.
Cannock and Lichfield law firm Ansons Solicitors is urging local people to decide who will take decisions for them if they become unable to by appointing an attorney using a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
An LPA is a legal document that lets you appoint someone you trust as an attorney to make decisions on your behalf regarding specific aspects of your financial affairs and welfare after you lose the capacity to do so.
Marie Tisdale partner in the wills and probate team commented: “Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney in October 2007. The old system concentrated on financial affairs and generally did not include issues such as personal care and welfare as LPA's do.
“The introduction of LPA's changed this by specifying who can look after your affairs should you be mentally unable to make decisions because of an accident or illness and ensures that your affairs are dealt with as you would want.
“If you haven't got power of attorney specifying who can look after your affairs should you be left mentally unable to make decisions because of an accident or illness then your family would have to go through the Court of Protection, which can be a lengthy and costly process”.
“Putting an LPA in place ensures that your affairs are dealt with in accordance with your wishes and means that loved ones and friends will have a less stressful time trying to guess what you would have wanted. Your solicitor should be able to advise and put the right LPA in place for your needs”.
There are two types of LPA, a Property and Affairs LPA and a Personal Welfare LPA.
A Property and Affairs LPA allows you to choose someone to make decisions about managing your money. This can include decisions about your property and affairs are managed. This can be used by your attorney(s) whether or not you have lost your mental capacity.
A Personal Welfare LPA allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your healthcare and welfare. This includes decisions to refuse or consent to treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live.
Ansons Solicitors has put together a free LPA factsheet which you can receive by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01543 263 456