May 26th, 2021
3 key reasons why your clients should put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place now
While nobody likes to think about the possibility that there could be a time when they are no longer able to manage their own affairs, planning ahead can help to prevent any problems if this does ever happen.
Putting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place will allow your clients to choose a trusted individual to make important decisions for them if they ever became unable to.
Any adult can organise an LPA but only while they have the mental capacity, which is why it’s better to do so sooner rather than later. If your clients want to gain more peace of mind, here are three reasons why they should put one in place now.
There are two types of LPA that your clients may need
If your client wants to prepare for the future, it’s important to protect themselves against the risk that one day they won’t be able to manage their own affairs. There are two types of LPA that can help them:
A Health and Welfare LPA
A trusted person appointed in this role would look after your client’s interests in issues such as their daily routine, any medical care they may need, and whether it’s the right decision to move them to a care home.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA
The person appointed to this role would act on your client’s behalf for financial issues such as managing their estate, paying bills, and collecting benefits for them.
Three key reasons why your clients should put an LPA in place now
1. They can ensure there are no costly delays
If your client was incapacitated and unable to manage their affairs, but already had an LPA in place, their attorney could immediately take over the running of your client’s affairs. This means that there will be no unnecessary delays or disruptions.
However, if they don’t already have an LPA in place, then your clients wouldn’t have the security that this can give them. For example, a delay in an important issue, such as debt repayment, can be very costly.
Without an LPA, a deputy may need to be appointed through the Court of Protection for your client.
This can be a very time-consuming process and there can be up to three months of waiting between an application and the court appointing a deputy. In this time, your client and their loved ones could struggle financially.
The process of appointing a deputy is also much more expensive than your client registering an LPA themselves. The process to apply for a deputy can cost up to £365, while organising an attorney typically costs around £82.
2. Your client gets greater control of who looks after their affairs
One of the benefits of setting up an LPA is that your client doesn’t have to appoint just one attorney. If they prefer, they can nominate several people, as well as successors if those people were unable to act on your client’s behalf in future.
Your clients can also specify whether they want their attorneys to make decisions individually or if they must be in agreement before acting.
One of the benefits of nominating multiple people to act in this role is that your client can choose people who have expertise in different areas, so they can be sure that they are in safe hands.
For example, if they are a business owner then they may choose to appoint a trusted co-worker to look after their business interests, as they have a greater knowledge of that role.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that an LPA can be lasting or temporary. If your client were ever to suffer from a condition such as dementia, or even just needed to spend time in hospital for recovery from an accident, they could benefit from a temporary LPA.
Once your client can prove that they are again capable of making decisions, the temporary LPA can be altered or removed.
3. Knowing they have an LPA in place can give invaluable peace of mind
The possibility that your client might one day be incapable of making important decisions can be distressing for them, but to ignore the possibility may lead to problems down the line.
Putting an LPA in place can be a good way for your client to gain some peace of mind to know that their best interests will be looked after even if the worst should happen. This can be particularly important if they have dependants who might struggle financially if your client can’t make decisions.
Choosing an LPA, rather than having a deputy appointed to them by the Court of Protection, can give them confidence that their loved ones won’t struggle financially even if they were incapacitated.
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