Have you considered making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)?
Have you put a plan in place for the future if you can no longer manage your property and financial affairs or make decisions about your health and welfare?
As a solicitor working in this field, I see so many clients who very sadly leave these decisions too late. Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be put in place when you have full mental capacity. There is a real misconception that LPAs are only for very elderly clients and those on the verge of dementia – often, at that point it is too late to action, and the only option then is lengthy Court proceedings with the Court of Protection.
Kate Garraway’s heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s long battle with Covid has been made even more complicated by the lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place. Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. She didn’t even have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection.
Research by Solicitors For The Elderly, shows that 65% of us think our next-of-kin will make medical and care decisions for us if we are no longer able to. In reality, this is not the case unless a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is in place. Whilst there’s been a rise in the number of enquiries made about Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) during and since the pandemic, only 22% of people in the UK actually have one.
To avoid this difficult kind of legal situation it is important to use a specialist lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law, and is trained to support people making these crucial, complex and difficult decisions. According to Which?, 22,000 LPAs are rejected every year so it’s essential that you get your legal documents right.
Anna Orpwood, Solicitor and Partner at Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors (offices in Stratford, Wanstead, Ilford and Waterloo) and fully accredited member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people, can assist you with Lasting Powers of Attorney and what they will mean for you.