Preparing for later life
The New Year is a great time to take stock, plan ahead and to get organised and with the rise in dementia cases here in the UK, planning for later life has never been more important.
What are the options and when is the best time to start planning?
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
A LPA enables you to appoint one or more people (attorneys) to look after your affairs and make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to. These can be close relatives or trusted friends, but often include professional advisers.
- A Health and Welfare LPA will enable your attorney to make decisions regarding your personal care, such as the medical treatment, where you should live and what your daily routine should be.
- A Property and Financial Affairs LPA will allow your attorney to access and manage your finances if you are unable to do this. They will be able to access your bank account, pay bills, and organise the sale of your property if you need to go into a care home.
All LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used, which can take up to ten weeks to complete.
LPAs are made by a person in advance of any need to use them, so that they are still capable of making rational decisions concerning their future care and financial matters. They can be made at any age and you must choose reliable and trustworthy people to be your attorneys, as this is a significant amount of responsibility and could be a role that lasts for many years.
A Court of Protection appointed Deputy
A Court of Protection appointed Deputy will be made where a person has already lost the ability to appoint their own representative
and has not made an LPA, or have the preceding Enduring Power of Attorney, which LPAs replaced.
It is very important therefore that these decisions are made by the person concerned before it is too late, so that they and their family and friends know exactly what their wishes are and how they would like them to
be carried out.
As people grow older, it is important that they enjoy their later years, without the worry of what happens, should they be unable to care for themselves.