During these Covid times there has been much coverage on the increase in people making Wills, a reaction to the increased number of Covid related deaths which, at time of writing, is over 60,000 in the UK.
Clearly this has proven to be somewhat of a wake-up call for individuals to put measures in place to ensure that should the worst happen, their family is protected. A recent article published in The Gazette suggested a 75% increase in demand for wills during the early stages of the pandemic and here at Thornton Jones we’ve not seen a slowdown since leaving the second national lockdown.
“There remains a missing piece to this jigsaw
and that is the need for a Lasting Power of Attorney”
Of course it’s great to hear that people are taking steps to protect their family should the worst happen however there remains a missing piece to this jigsaw and that is the need for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Whilst a Will can protect your family after you have passed, what about protecting yourself and your family should you find yourself unable to care for your own matters? Whether that be making bill payments or giving authority for essential healthcare, without the appropriate documentation in place you could find yourself in a difficult position of being unable, whether through physical or mental incapacity, to manage your own finances and healthcare.
Here are our 5 benefits of having a Lasting Power of Attorney and why you should really consider prioritising having one.
- Having an LPA allows for better decisions to be made.
Imagine not having the capacity to make crucial decisions regarding your finances, property and assets or having the capacity to make potentially life changing decisions regarding your health and wellbeing. Sounds scary?
Having an LPA in place means that your nominated and trusted person can make those decisions on your behalf. That person will have the legal authority to act on your behalf resulting in better decisions being made with regards to your financial and healthcare needs.
- You have the freedom to choose who to nominate.
Handing over the responsibility of your finances and healthcare decisions can be a frightening thing to do, especially if you have always had a tight rein on such matters. With an LPA you can choose who to nominate, therefore putting you in control and giving you comfort that should your nominated person be called upon they will do so with your very best interests at heart.
You can nominate almost anyone at all, from a partner, a friend, a family member or your children. If you wish, you can appoint more than one Attorney.
- Having an LPA can avoid delays, high costs, stress and upset.
If you were to lose the capacity to deal with your own financial and healthcare matters and don’t have an LPA in place then the day-to-day managing of your finances and healthcare can become stressful and upsetting for both you and your family and a family member, for example, cannot simply take control on your behalf.
- You have the choice over what type of LPA to put in place.
For a person to take control they have to apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court which can be both time consuming and expensive with waits of 8 months or longer becoming the norm. Even if authority is granted it may be granted to a person who you may not have chosen for this role. With an LPA this decision is entirely yours to make. There are two types of LPA. One to cover your finances and one to cover your health.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA grants your nominated person the authority to manage your finances, property and assets. A Health and Welfare LPA grants your nominated person the authority to make decisions on your healthcare, any surgeries or treatments you may require, and also extend to making decisions on your living arrangements. You can also grant your nominated person the authority to make end of life care decisions.
You can even choose different people for each role.
- It provides peace of mind for you and your family.
We never want to imagine the worst but it’s wise to plan for it – just in case. If you have a Will in place then your family is protected when you pass and with an LPA in place both you and your family will have peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that if your mental or physical capacity took a turn your affairs will be well looked after.
You can provide guidance and instructions in your LPA, ensuring that your nominated person and family are fully aware of your wishes and that these can be acted upon.
If you are ready to make a Lasting Power of Attorney or even make a Will (if you don’t yet have one) then call us today to discuss your circumstances and to make an appointment.
Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466