Appointing someone you trust to make decisions on your finances and healthcare if in the event you are no longer capable of making those decisions yourself allows for your peace of mind and that of your loved ones whom may need to contemplate and execute choices at what can be an emotional time.
Drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) with an experienced legal professional ensures your wishes and support are provided for should there come a time when it is necessary for your chosen attorney to help make decisions with or for you.
Introducing Lasting Powers of Attorney: What is it?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you ‘the donor’ appoint one or more people whom by law are then known as ‘attorneys’ to make decisions or to help make decisions on your behalf, if in the event you are unable to do so through serious injury or if you do not have the mental capacity to do so such as through illness.
Why is it called ‘lasting’?
A Lasting Power of Attorney enables chosen attorney’s the lasting capacity to make decisions for and on behalf of the donor’s affairs which might be personal such as matters relating to property or any medical attention that might be required, financial or business in nature.
Making Decisions with an LPA
Anyone over the age of 18 can make a Lasting Power of Attorney. Your LPA can;
- Offer your instructions as a donor to your chosen attorney/s.
- Create preferences to be included within the LPA.
- Enable your chosen attorney/s to help you make decisions.
- Ensure decisions are made with the best interests of the donor in mind when the donor does not have capacity to do so by themselves.
- Where there is more than one attorney appointed, require you to assert the need for decisions to be ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’ agreed.
Decisions must restrict the donor’s human and civil rights as little as possible. Seeking legal advice can successfully aid and assist you in creating your legal LPA document and in reaching ‘best interest’ agreements.
Kate Garraway and Husband Derek Draper
It is well documented and sadly true that TV presenter Kate Garraway found herself in the challenging and most difficult situation when her husband Derek Draper fell into a coma after contracting coronavirus. Kate discovered she couldn’t access bank accounts in Derek’s name, their shared bank accounts or even refinance their mortgage.
Although Kate and her husband reportedly had had conversations around the subject of Powers of Attorney if in the event either of them became seriously unwell and unable to make decisions that they would do so for one another but they had nothing documented.
This therefore meant on top of the emotional turmoil this threw upon Kate and her family that the financial burden built and grew into; a hefty bill for new phone handsets by a mobile provider (which would have been free had Derek been able to sign paperwork), the need to borrow money from friends because Kate understandably needed to be out of work for amounts of time and this also prevented her from being able to access medical notes due to legal rights and data protection laws.
LPA: Finding the Right Option for You
At Guardian Solicitors we empathise and understand how difficult this subject can be which is why we always take the time to actively listen to our clients and to draw up LPA options that best suit you.
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place can ensure that your business, financial and personal affairs can be taken care of by your chosen attorney/s whom will then have the legal authority to do so whilst in the knowledge that they’re following your given wishes.
At Guardian Solicitorswe care about you and as our client we will work closely with you to help find the right choice that matches your legal needs at the right time.