Who will speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself?

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Who will speak for you when you can’t speak…

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If you lose the power to make certain decisions, a lasting power of attorney (LPA) lets people you trust quickly, easily and legally step in.

Along with lots of other people, you may think your partner or close family members can automatically make decisions for you if you’re not able to.

This is not the case.

If they had to pay your bills or make a choice about your medical treatment they would struggle without the legal authority to do so.

True or False?

“ If a couple have a joint bank account and one person can’t make decisions for themselves, their partner can legally make decisions for them.”

This is false, but 73%* of people think it is true.

“ In hospital, your next of kin always get the final say in treatment decisions if you can’t make them for yourself.”

This is false, but 72%* of people think it is true.

A lasting power of attorney makes it easier for the people you trust to support you and, if needed, act for you when you may need it most. It could be temporary help to cover a short hospital stay, or longer-term support to manage decisions around your health and care.

An LPA not only gives you a voice - it protects your choices.

Failure to create a Lasting Power of Attorney

If you do lose mental capacity without creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will be necessary for your family to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed to deal with everyday financial matters. This means you lose control of who you would natural give your powers too. This is a slow and a very expensive process, costing thousands of pounds.

Two types of lasting power of attorney Health and welfare decisions

A health and welfare lasting power of attorney gives people the power to make decisions about things like:

• your daily routine – for example, washing, dressing and eating

• medical care

• moving into a care home

• life-sustaining treatment

You apply and register it now, but it’s only used if you can’t make your own decisions in the future.

Financial decisions

A finance and property lasting power of attorney gives someone you trust the power to make decisions about your money and property, for example:

• paying bills

• managing a bank or building society account

• collecting benefits or a pension

• selling your home

These powers can be used at any time, but only if you say it’s ok.

Lasting power of attorney

The 2 minute summary

•   It’s a myth that close family or friends can automatically make decisions on your behalf if you need them to

•   A lasting power of attorney means someone you trust can quickly, easily and legally step in

•   You keep control by deciding WHO can speak for you, WHEN they can speak for you, and WHAT they can say

•   It’s not just about money – your choices about your health and care also need protecting

•   If things are straightforward, you don’t need to seek legal advice

•   Registering a lasting power of attorney is probably easier and cheaper than you think. Depending on your circumstances, it can even be completely free.


What to do next

Talk to someone you trust today about creating a lasting power of attorney. Or, if you’d like to know more:

Contact me on: 07976 851551 or 0800 9997750

email: jparmar@paradigm-wills.com

Jay Parmar

Will & Estate Planning Manager

Will and Trust Planning, Paradigm Wills and Legal Services work on the ethos of understanding our clients, their family situation and understand the potential beneficiaries before we make any advice…

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