As well as the normal confusion and misunderstanding about what a Lasting Power of Attorney is, there is the lack of understanding of the importance and benefits to putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
There are so many benefits to having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place when a person loses their mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
It means a person can still regain control over what happens to them in terms of both their finances and their health care and wellbeing by nominating a person they know and trust to make decisions on your behalf, and not a well-meaning health professional or someone from the local council who does not know and love you.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney will ensure having peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
Here I will name just five of the benefits of having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
1. Your next of kin or loved one can’t automatically make decisions about your health or finances without being listed as your Attorney in a Lasting power of attorney.
It is a common misunderstanding that people believe that if something happens to a loved one, then we can automatically step in and make decisions on their behalf, and we can’t. To be able to make decisions on your loved one’s behalf, whether it be partner, parent, friend, family member, then you need to have a Lasting power of attorney in place.
2. Your Attorneys can manage your finances for you at a time when you cannot either due to loss of mental capacity or with your permission if they are physically unable to do this for themselves.
Imagine being in control of your own finances your whole life and then suddenly you are either too sick or do not have the mental capacity to make these choices and decisions.
The beauty of the Finance & Property Lasting Power of Attorney in place is that you can choose to have your trusted person to make decisions and transactions for you, even when you do still have capacity but may feel too ill or be away in hospital or even abroad.
When my friend was receiving chemo and radiation treatments for their cancer, they were continually fatigued, and did not have the energy or headspace to look after their finances and all it entailed like topping up their phone, and paying for a new service such as getting a panic alarm fitted, so as their Attorney, I was able to do this for them, with their permission as they still had mental capacity.
When filling in the forms for Lasting Power of Attorney there is the option for your Attorney to be able to manage your finances when you still have the capacity to make decisions for yourself as well as at a time when you do not.
3. Your wishes for life sustaining treatment will be followed if you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
When making a Lasting Power of Attorney you can reflect ahead of time on what you would want to happen in terms of life sustaining treatment, should the situation arise which does often happen nearing the end of one’s life.
It's a way of maintaining control and having the choice to make decisions about what you would want to happen to you and your body at a time where you cannot verbally communicate this or have the mental capacity to.
You can either have the option to give your Attorney’s the authority to make these decisions on your behalf or you can refuse, and have them follow your instructions.
Also it’s quite a responsibility on the Attorneys to have to make this massive decision, which is why I would recommend talking to them beforehand to ask how they feel about this.
4. If you have a joint bank account with a partner, then by making them your Attorney, they can still have access to their money!
It's hard to believe that this can happen when a partner cannot access their money from a joint account that they share with a partner who has lost mental capacity, but it’s true and put in place for safe-guarding reasons.
However, it puts enormous pressure and stress, both financially and emotionally on top of what is already a stressful situation. Not to mention having to apply to the Court of Protection for the right to do this, which is a very costly and lengthy process which also means you are accountable to the Court of Protection for all your financial transactions, some of which they may not approve.
5. Decisions around your health care will be made by someone you Trust and want to make the decisions on your behalf, rather than a health professional or somebody from the local council who does not know (and love) you.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is really like having a golden key, so that your loved ones who know and love you can legally make decisions in your best interest about your care and wellbeing at a time where you do not have the mental capacity to do so. As well-meaning as it is to have a Health Professional or a person from the council in this position, it’s really not the same.
The Five Benefits of Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in Place are just five of many!
You will be able to say what happens to you in terms of your health and finances at a time when you may not have the mental capacity to, along with being able to nominate a person that you trust implicitly to make these decisions on your behalf.
It means that you are not leaving it up to the Gods to decide (or in reality someone well-meaning from the local council or medical profession !) who makes these important decisions about your health and wellbeing and your finances.
It brings peace of mind to both you and your loved ones, be they family, or friends knowing that you will be looked after as to your wishes at a time you may not be able to.
To find out how you will benefit from having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place for you or a loved one, book your call with me here: Book a Call | No regrets (no-regrets-end-of-life-planning.com)