Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney Important?

  • They let you appoint those you trust to make critical decisions for you, should you lose the capacity to do so.
  • There is no ‘next of kin’, recognised in UK law.
  • 33% of those over 65 will get dementia.
  • One person will suffer a head injury or stroke each minute in the UK.
  • The cost and stress of appointing a deputy through the courts may be much greater.

 

Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) allow you to appoint those you trust most, to make critical decisions relating to your health and finances, on your behalf, should you lose mental capacity in the future.

These are hugely important documents, and yet time and again, when the topic is broached, many shoot back with comments like:  “it won’t happen to me”; “I don’t need one yet”, “it costs too much”; “my husband/wife will look after me”.

Such objections are specious and often mask deeper anxieties. In my experience, the greater the responsibility borne by the individual, day to day, either by virtue of their work or family life, the more reluctant they are to entertain the notion of ever handing control of their affairs to another.

I say to you, what I say to all I speak to on the topic. Please, JUST HAVE THE CONVERSATION. Phone us on 0121 231 7010, there really is no obligation, just 10 minutes of your time to find out more. If you don’t like what you hear, end the call.

Back to those objections. To say “it won’t happen to me” or “I don’t need one yet”, with respect to LPAs, is to ignore not only the data, but the logistics of getting these documents completed and registered.

The process, when executed perfectly, may take 12 weeks. Confound governmental bureaucracy with the burdens of Corona virus, and this period may extend to months.  You must think about this now, you CANNOT register a document after losing capacity.

Somebody is hospitalised with stroke or head injury, every minute in the UK. Moreover, 33% of people over 65 are expected to get dementia. In cases of dementia, it is quite possible for capacity to be lost, post-diagnosis, before an LPA can be implemented.

To say “it costs too much” or “my husband/wife will look after me” is to ignore the alternatives.

There is NO NEXT OF KIN recognised in UK law. In practice, one’s family must apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a ‘deputy’ to manage affairs, on loss of capacity.

This process can take six months or more, during which time assets may be frozen. Who would fund your care and living costs during this time?

Failing to complete an LPA is the falsest of economies. It may cost £400 to apply to the Court of Protection and £100 to nominate a deputy. Legal work in preparing a court order may exceed £1,000. Annual reviews and ongoing management of the arrangement may incur recurring fees from £320 to £1,800 (depending on whether a non-professional or professional attorney is appointed).

It is so much less stressful to put LPAs in place. Preparing an LPA may cost as little as £150-£200 per document. Registration fees, charged the government are fixed at £82 per document (with income based reductions and benefit based exemptions available).

Without wishing to repeat myself. I urge you, please, JUST HAVE THE CONVERSATION. Phone us on 0121 231 7010, there really is no obligation, just 10 minutes of your time to find out more. If you don’t like what you hear, end the call!