In many cases people believe that making a Will is all that is required to safeguard their families and provide financial instructions and safeguarding of wealth, property and loved ones.
In reality, a Will is only effective at the point of death and cannot be used to determine responsibility due to any type of incapacity whilst the person is alive.
Should you become incapacitated, in any way, you will need a Power of Attorney to nominate someone else to act on your behalf. This may be due to an accident or illness and there are two types of LPA to consider.
One type that deals with financial decisions, the other deals with health and welfare. The LPA allows the attorney, who can be family members, to deal with banks accounts, pensions, utility providers etc but also to make decisions such as where the person lives and who takes care of them.
By putting an LPA in place during your lifetime it removes the burden on children should you later become ill and would avoid a lengthy and expensive application to the Court. Without an LPA, such Court applications can run to thousands of pounds.
It is important to act early as the individual making the LPA must have capacity to at the time of writing it and isn’t a document for those in later life to put in place.
The age at which people are getting diagnosed with Dementia can be as young as 48 and an accident can happen at any time. A lot of people have had issues due to a lack of LPA planning since Covid-19 arrived in the UK leaving the most severly affected patients on life support and therefore completely incapacitated.
We have often acted for individuals who have had accidents which have left them unable to look after financial affairs or make health decisions for themselves. This has resulted in a long and very expensive application to the Court which could have been easily avoided had an LPA been put in place when the person still had capacity.
To talk to us about any form of estate planning including LPA and Will Writing please get in touch on 01422 658008