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Posted on 4 October 2021

Control your future with a Power of Attorney

Posted in Advice

As the seasons change it’s a good time to consider preparing for your future. You’ll achieve a sense of satisfaction knowing you’re in control of whatever may be ahead.

How to make decisions about your future

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint one or more persons (your attorneys) to look after your affairs. Generally, your appointed attorneys are your close family and/or very good friends. Your LPA sets out your decisions, your preferences and your choices, whilst you have capacity to make them.

Your decisions about your finances and your health

Property and financial 

A property and financial LPA give an attorney the power to make decisions about your finances, including managing your bank or building society accounts and dealing with your assets.

People have a higher life expectancy than ever before. This has resulted in a considerable rise in the number of people, who, through Dementia or Alzheimer’s, lose their mental capacity. A Financial LPA is the only way your chosen attorney can access to your bank accounts, deal with your property to pay for care home or other bills. 

The onset of dementia can come suddenly with a rapid deterioration meaning the choice of making an LPA is no longer viable. The stress on the wider family can be immense, as not only are they dealing with the declining health of a loved one, but with the added stress of being unable to manage their affairs.
You can also use a property and financial LPA should you wish to appoint someone to manage your affairs even whilst you have mental capacity. 

Health and welfare 

A health and welfare LPA enables your attorney to make decisions about medical care, care home, your daily routine and life sustaining treatment. It can only operate when you no longer have mental capacity. 
When a person loses mental capacity, and there is no health and welfare LPA, decisions about health and welfare are taken by doctors and social workers. They decide which care home you go to and what medical treatment you receive, including life sustaining treatment. Doctors and social workers need to consult with the next of kin when making best interest decisions, but they do not have to follow what the next of kin considers to be in your best interests. Making a health and welfare LPA empowers your attorneys, giving them far more authority in dealing with the professionals.

Consider what you want your future to look like and choose to make your decisions known through one or both types of LPAs. Your future is in your hands.
 

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