01 November 2023

It is a known fact that you would not drive your car without insurance or fail to insure your house because the second you do, it is murphy’s law that something would happen!

Sadly no one can predict what sort of care or support they may need in the future. If we each had a crystal ball that could give us some hint as to the way of the world it would certainly make our lives easier (next week’s lottery numbers anyone?).

Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA”) are very much like an insurance policy. Whenever I do them for my clients, in a way I wish that they are never actually required. An LPA grants authority to your attorney(s) to step into your shoes and assist you where required.

There are two types of LPA, one for your property and finances (think bank accounts, insurance companies, bills, etc) and one for your health and welfare. There is a common misconception that if you are married or have children your next of kin will be able to assist with any decisions that need making. With the introduction of rules surrounding GDPR and safeguarding sadly this is no longer always the case, often resulting in situations where the family desperately want to help but have no way of accessing care or bank accounts to assist.

A Property and Financial LPA grants your attorneys authority to look after your finances, including paying bills. If care is needed, it can grant your attorney access to your bank account to pay for fees or allow them to sell a property. A Health and Welfare LPA can only come into effect when you cannot make decisions for yourself. If you have strong feelings on life sustaining treatment options or care the LPA will provide a voice for you when you are unable to give your opinion.

If you do not have an LPA in place and lose capacity, your only option is for someone to apply to the Court on your behalf for the right to look after you. This is a stressful and lengthy process that could cause a delay in you being able to access what you need. An LPA means you can choose who you would like to look after you, rather than have someone appointed.

You only ever need car insurance on the one day you have an accident, and likewise I strongly believe it is much better to have an LPA in place then not. Better yet, once the LPA is registered, you do not even have to renew it unless you want to change your attorneys as it can remain in place gathering dust until required. It really does give complete peace of mind to both you and your family that both you, your care and your finances will be looked after by someone you love and trust if so required.

Ensuring clients are looked after when they need it most is a true passion of mine. If you would like more information on LPAs please don’t hesitate to contact the private client team on 0800 652 8373 or alternatively fill out one of our ‘talk to us’ forms on our website.