Why Everybody Needs a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

In these very dangerous times, we believe everybody should have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). However there are common misconceptions as to why an LPA may not be necessary, and hopefully the items below will confirm why an LPA is necessary, and dispel any myths surrounding them.

‘I don’t need an LPA because my next of kin can make important decisions on my behalf’.

Not true, know one can act on your behalf to make decisions on your behalf, unless they have been legally authorised to do so.

‘My will appointed executors, so they are able to make decisions on my behalf’.

Again not true. A will is entirely separate to an LPA. Executors appointed in a will, only have the power to distribute your estate accordingly, and in line with your will on death. They have no authority to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime.

‘I don’t need an LPA until I become elderly and of ill health’.

Again, an incorrect view, as an LPA can be made by anyone over the age of 18, who has full mental capacity. Someone may loose capacity, or not longer able to make decisions due to an accident, being in a comma or other mental illness.

The sooner you put an LPA in place the better, as you then know provisions will have been put in place in the event the unthinkable happens. If you wait, and in that time loose capacity, it will be too late to get an LPA and your loved ones would need to apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection. This would not only take along time, but also be a costly process.

‘Once my Health and Welfare LPA is registered, it means someone else can make decisions for me, and I do not want that while I have capacity’.

Again not true, a Health and Welfare LPA only comes into effect when the donor looses capacity, even if the LPA has been registered.

‘Getting an LPA is expensive’

The costs of registering an LPA is £82 per document. In comparison, if you fail to make an LPA and loose capacity, your family will be left with no option but to apply for a Deputyship. This will cost significantly more, and in our experience in the thousands. There is of course a cost for the preparation and the registration of the LPA. As a guide an LPA will costs £350 and the registration approximately £150 plus VAT.

‘Me and my partner have joint bank accounts so we don’t need LPA’s’

Again not true, this is always the most alarming to couples when they are told that even if they have a joint account, this does not mean the partner will be automatically able to access funds to pay for bills, mortgages or general expenses. If the spouse was to loose capacity, the bank have the ability to remove access and freeze the account until they receive a copy of a registered LPA, which is extremely stressful for any spouse or joint account owner.

As usual if you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you wish advice on any aspects relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.