Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA has been described as the most important document that every UK adult should have in place. There are many reasons that makes this statement true and it is not just old age, any one of us could have an accident at any time that could leave us seriously ill in a hospital and, without an LPA in place, your family could be left without the legal power to carry out your wishes and make decisions on your behalf.
In the UK, dementia is the biggest health threat. According to the government, one person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes.
If you or one of your parents develop dementia and lose mental capacity you can not assume that you can make decisions on your parents’ behalf or that your loved ones will be allowed to make decisions for you. You cannot walk into a bank and say “My mum has now got dementia, I need to pay her bills for her, how do I do this?” Without an LPA to give you the legal power to look after your loved one’s financial affairs the bank will freeze their account, you will not have any right to pay any bills for your parent, this includes their care home fees.
If your loved ones do not have an LPA in place for Health and Welfare, then you do not have the right to chose their Care Home, the Local Authority will choose one instead.
If you don’t have a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, your loved ones will need to apply through the Court of Protection to legally have the right to look after you and your affairs, this can take a long time and is very expensive. Don’t leave your family unprotected or leave yourself vulnerable.