Make a Lasting Power of Attorney to protect your interests
Don’t wait until it’s too late – take action now.
When you give power of attorney to someone you trust, they will be able to manage your affairs for you, should you become unable to do so.
It’s never too soon to set one up – because you never know when you might need someone to help you in this way. When that time comes, things often happen very quickly.
Choose someone you trust
The person you choose as your power of attorney can be a relative, friend or someone in a professional capacity. It’s vital that it’s someone you trust.
If you choose someone in a professional capacity, bear in mind that they will charge a fee each time they act on your behalf.
Pursuing NHS Continuing Healthcare
If you’re receiving full time care and you believe you’re being wrongly forced to pay for that care, you will almost certainly need someone to help you challenge that decision and pursue NHS Continuing Healthcare funding to cover your care fees. If the person helping you has a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), it makes it much easier.
It’s important to bear in mind that once you lack the mental capacity to make safe decisions for yourself, you can no longer set up an LPA. That’s why it’s vital to do it now.
If you lose mental capacity and you haven’t appointed someone to be your power of attorney, one of your relatives or friends would then have to contact the Office of the Public Guardian. The Court of Protection would then go through a process of appointing a Deputy to manage your affairs. However, this takes time and can be expensive.
The Deputy could be a member of your family or, if you don’t have any willing relatives, it could be a solicitor. In this case your savings would be used to pay for their services. It’s much better – and much kinder to your family – if you set up a LPA now, while you still can.
Do it now
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Property and financial affairs
- Health and welfare
Many people say that they’ll wait until they need one before setting one up. This is a BIG mistake. By the time you need one, it’s often too late. And even if a power of attorney can still be set up, your relatives’ hands will be tied – and they’ll be unable to protect your interests – until the power can be processed and registered (usually several months). In the meantime decisions are likely to be made for you by people you don’t know.
Do it now. Having a power of attorney set up and ready to use makes no difference to your day-to-day life now. But once you have set one up, it can be used the moment you need it, with no delays. This is vital.