There are many (mis)held beliefs, confusion and feelings of overwhelm with the mere mentioning of Lasting Powers of Attorney…enough to empty a room full of people in a flash! Here are the 5 most common ones I have heard to date…
1. An Attorney is the same as an Executor
Truth: No. An Executor is the person named in your Will to distribute your estate after you have died.
An Attorney is the person who acts in your best interests on your behalf when you are still alive (but lack the mental capacity to communicate decisions for yourself).
2. Making a Lasting powers of attorney costs hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds
Truth: No not at all. You can do this for yourself and pay the £82 registration fee. Sadly, I have met many people who have paid ridiculous amounts of money to get this done.
3. You need a Solicitor to make a Lasting Powers of Attorney
Truth: No you don’t. They can charge hundreds (and thousands) of pounds for this. (If making a Business LPA or have a complicated estate, then always best to get advise!)
4. My partner/family/friend will be able to make decisions on my behalf if I lose capacity.
Truth: No they can’t. Apparently “next of kin” is a myth in the eyes of the Law! Only by making and registering a Lasting Powers of Attorney is this guaranteed and legal.
5. You have to be old to make a Lasting Powers of Attorney
Truth: Not at all. An accident or life -threatening illness can happen to anyone at any age such is the unpredictable nature of life. I have met a few younger people in my time of working in Residential care homes where this has been the case.
And a bonus one: That bank accounts are still accessible when a person loses mental capacity. Truth: When a person loses their mental capacity, their bank account gets frozen. This means, if you are relying on that person for your income or share a joint account, access could be denied!
The good news is....
With the correct information, knowledge and support (if needed) you can save yourself hundreds of pounds and avoid potential heartache further down the line, if you make your Lasting Powers of Attorney NOW, while you are still fit and healthy.
Gaining the authority to act as an Attorney AFTER a person has lost capacity is an expensive and lengthy process best to be avoided!
If you would like to know more about how you can avoid unnecessary costs and the added stress, message me. Happy to help Mala xx