Money Matters by Scott Woods

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Planning ahead can be invaluable...

When planning for the future, we must face up to the possibility of unwelcome events coming along

These can include becoming unable to look after our own financial affairs or to make important healthcare decisions because of physical or mental incapacity. You could get the peace of mind from knowing you have these areas catered for by looking to see if a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is appropriate for your circumstances.

An LPA works by allowing you (the donor) to give another person (the attorney) the authority to make decisions that you would have normally made. There are two different types of LPA: a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, and a Health and Welfare LPA.

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on the donor’s behalf relating to property and financial affairs, which could include selling their home and paying bills and direct debits from bank accounts.

A Health and Welfare LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on the donor’s behalf relating to health and welfare, which could include where the donor should live, who they should (or should not) see and the giving or the refusing of consent to life-sustaining medical treatment.

If you were to become incapable, whether physically or mentally, and did not have an LPA in place then this could cause unnecessary problems. Additionally, there could be significant expense, because a court application would be needed before someone could deal with your financial affairs.

Because none of us know when the need may arise, applying for an LPA sooner rather than later helps you to ensure that you are both protecting your future and making your affairs easier to manage for your family or friends.

Ultimately, should we wait until the day arrives that an LPA is definitely needed, it is often too late to apply for one in the traditional manner.