In the first of a couple of pieces, local solicitor Maralyn Hutchinson spotlights a New Year’s resolution we should all consider!
At the beginning of the New Year, thoughts turn to the future. Not many of us are eager to ponder how we might cope if either our physical or mental capacity was compromised or lost. By putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) then should the unthinkable happen, you really can stay in control of your financial assets or end of life treatment decisions through your chosen attorneys. They are entrusted to carry out your wishes and have a legal obligation to act in your best interests. We take out insurance policies for our cars, holidays and homes, but do tend to shy away from taking steps to protect ourselves in case we can no longer make decisions.
Maralyn Hutchinson is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and well-known as an expert at Teddington solicitors Kagan Moss specialising in Powers of Attorney and Deputyships and …“we help a range of clients from younger parents who add an LPA to their instructions when making their Will, to older residents who are thinking ahead in case they suffer a loss of mental capacity or physical impairment becomes an issue”
“Unfortunately, I deal with many cases where a person is unable to communicate effectively or is unable to access their accounts at the bank or building society. With no attorney appointed the financial institution will rigidly insist upon seeing their customer in person at the branch or speaking to them regardless of their mobility, communication or capacity issues. It’s the same story for other investments and shareholdings.”
An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs is suitable to use for matters relating to your money and property and can cover bank accounts, other savings, assets and liabilities. You do not have to own property or have a lot of money for this type of LPA to be useful or necessary. If you wish it can be used it with your consent, as soon as it is registered.
An LPA for Health and Welfare covers your personal and health care. This type of LPA can only be used if you do not have the mental capacity to make decisions yourself. Your attorneys can decide about your daily routine, such as what you wear and eat, moving into a care home or getting help from social services. You can also give your attorneys the power to agree or refuse any medical treatment you may need in the event that you are unable to make that decision. If your attorneys do not have that power, doctors would then decide.
Questions? See Part 2 for FAQ – coming soon!
Kagan Moss and Co, 22 The Causeway Teddington TW11 0HF 0208 977 6633