Physical or mental incapacity could prevent you from acting on your own behalf in respect of your financial affairs and/or your personal welfare – this can be inconvenient both for you and also for your family and those closest to you. In terms of personal financial affairs the sudden inability to access one’s bank account, pay bills and make other financial and day-to-day decisions can quickly lead to financial problems.
Up till middle age the prospect of loss of capacity is remote and only likely to happen through some sort of traumatic event. However, as older age creeps on, and with the continuing advancement of medical science, potential loss of capacity becomes increasingly likely.
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to anticipate the possibility of loss of capacity in advance thereby allowing you to pre-determine who can act on your behalf, thus alleviating the problems for those caring for or looking after you.
It is possible to set up an LPA in respect of your Financial & Property affairs or in respect of your personal Welfare & Social affairs, or for both of these issues. For either, you can elect to appoint one or more attorneys and replacement attorneys. If you elect to set up an LPA for both sets of issues you can use the same attorney(s) or a different attorney(s).
It is customary to appoint a close family member or a professional person as your attorney but bear in mind that if you appoint a professional they are entitled to charge for their services.
We highly recommend that you consider drawing up an LPA for your financial affairs and one for your personal welfare.