According to recent figures published by the Alzheimer’s Society, one in three people over the age of 65 will develop a form of dementia. Well known cases have recently included the author Terry Pratchett who developed dementia in his 60s, Monty Python comedian Terry Jones who developed it in his 70s, and actor Gene Wilder who developed it in his 80s. This shows that it is impossible to know who dementia will affect or when.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are legal documents that you can create to appoint an attorney – someone who you decide can make decisions on your behalf. There are two types of LPA – the first covers your Property and Financial Affairs and the second your Health and Welfare.
Who should have one?
Commonly LPAs are most useful when a person has dementia or a lack of mental capacity but can also be put in place early in life to guard against accidents or sudden illness. This is particularly relevant if you own and run your own business as decisions would have to be made quickly to enable the business to carry on in your absence.
It is not uncommon for us to talk to people who are a little resistant to appointing an attorney. Often people feel like they are losing control of their affairs or having to acknowledge that they are no longer able to manage. We find that appointing somebody you trust to look after these matters often gives a sense of security for all concerned and gives you an opportunity to discuss and outline your wishes whilst you are able to do so.
It is significantly better to make an LPA in circumstances when you are feeling well and are able to think carefully about who you would want to make decisions on your behalf. You have far greater control over what will happen to you if you have the opportunity to speak to the people you appoint and tell them what you would want to happen in the future. If you do not make an LPA and you lose mental capacity you have no control of how decisions are made or who might be appointed as your deputy.
By making an LPA you are taking, not losing, control.
If you would like to learn more about Lasting Powers of Attorney, and how they could help you or your family, please contact Gemma Tyrrell by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01420 82881.
You can also download our free Guide to LPAs by clicking here.