Updated: Feb 2
There is a general lack of understanding of the importance and reasons to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that when a person loses the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, they are still able to have control over what happens to them both with their finances and their care because they have nominated a person to do this on their behalf.
In nominating a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf, it will not be left to a well-meaning health professional or the local council who does not know and love you to make these decisions.
Putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place will ensure having peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
Here I will name five reasons to have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
Your next of kin or loved one can’t legally or automatically make decisions about your health or finances without being your named Attorney.
It is a common misunderstanding that if something happens to a loved one, and there isn’t a Lasting Power of Attorney in place then we can automatically step in and make decisions on their behalf, and we can’t.
To be able to make decisions on a loved one’s behalf, whether it be partner, parent, friend, family member, Lasting power of attorney needs to be put in place, naming them as the Attorney.
2. Attorneys can manage the finances at a time when you are unable to either due to loss of mental capacity or when unable to do this for themselves. (with their consent)
Imagine after a lifetime of being in control of your own finances and then suddenly not being able to make these decisions due to illness or becoming mentally incapacitated?
The beauty of having the Finance & Property Lasting Power of Attorney in place is that you can choose to have your trusted person make decisions and transactions for you, even when you do still have capacity but may feel too ill or be away in a hospital or even abroad.
When my friend was receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments for their cancer, they were continually fatigued and did not have the energy or headspace to look after their finances.
As their Attorney, I was able to complete transactions and tasks like topping up their phone credit and paying for a new service such as getting a panic alarm fitted. I was able to do this for them, with their permission as they still had mental capacity. This was decided upon when putting the Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
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 decide ahead of time if you want to give your Attorneys the permission to make life-sustaining decisions regarding treatment on your behalf.
It's a way of maintaining control about what happens to you and the decisions to be made on your behalf at a time where you cannot communicate this or have the mental capacity to do so.
You can also choose not to give your Attorneys the power to make decisions about life-sustaining treatments and to have them follow your instructions instead.
When considering whether to give your Attorneys the authority to make life-sustaining decisions or not, remember that it’s quite a responsibility for someone to have to make this massive decision. I would recommend talking to your Attorneys beforehand to ask how they feel about this.
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4. If you have a joint bank account with a partner, then by making a Power of Attorney, they can still have access to their money if you lose mental capacity!
It can be hard to believe that a partner cannot access their own money from a joint bank account because the other person has lost the mental capacity to make decisions. However, this is true and is put in place for safeguarding reasons.
When this happens, it puts enormous pressure and stress, both financially and emotionally on top of what is already a stressful situation.
In addition, if a Lasting Power of Attorney is not in place, an application to the Court of Protection for the right to be able to access the finances needs to be made, which is a very costly and lengthy process. They are then accountable to the Court of Protection for all of their financial transactions, some of which may not be approved.
5. Decisions around your health care will be made by someone you trust to make the decisions on your behalf. (rather than a health professional or the local council)
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney is like having a golden key. It means that your loved ones, who know and love you, can legally make decisions on your behalf, in your best interest concerning your care and wellbeing, at a time where you do not have the mental capacity to do so.
As well-meaning as a Health Professional or the Council are in making decisions about your health and wellbeing, it’s really not the same as having a person you know and trust doing this.
The Five Reasons to 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. You can nominate people 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!) to make 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)
Take a look at my Lasting Power of Attorney Support Package.
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