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What are the benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney?

According to research undertaken by Alzheimer’s Research UK, the number of people with dementia is projected to increase rapidly. It is predicted one million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025 and this will increase to two million by 2050*. It makes sense, then, to plan for the possibility of becoming incapable of managing your own financial or health and welfare needs.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to appoint one or more people to act on your behalf and make decisions regarding your property and finances. A second LPA can make provision for your health and welfare. At the time of signing, you must be capable of understanding the document and its powers.

The benefits of preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney are:

  • You can choose a person you trust and who you want to be in control of your personal circumstances.
  • You can place any restrictions you feel necessary on the document.
  • You have the right to revoke the document or to remove any attorneys you have appointed whilst you have capacity.
  • A straight forward application process with a time scale of approximately 12 weeks to completion.
  • It is considerably quicker and cheaper than having to make a Deputyship Application to the Court of Protection once capacity has been lost.
  • It makes life easier and less stressful for your family and friends who will not have to go through a Deputyship Application.

Deputyship Order

Unfortunately, if you lack the mental capacity to manage your finances and health or indeed your welfare and you have not prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney, a Deputy will need to be appointed.

A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of someone who lacks mental capacity. Any person can be appointed as a Deputy if they can demonstrate their suitability to the Court of Protection. If there is no one willing or suitable, a professional Deputy, such as a Solicitor, can be appointed. As the person to whom the application relates is unable to make the decision as to who they would like to appoint, the application process can be very complicated. In turn, it is more costly and more time consuming, with current time scales being approximately 6 to 12 months.

If you would like to plan for the future and discuss making Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact the Wills, Trusts and Probate team on 01788 557722.

*Source: Alzheimer’s Research UK – Prevalence projections in the UK