None of us want to think about losing our capacity. The sad reality is that loss of capacity can happen to anyone at any time, not just through old age, but through accident and/or illness – often things that are completely out of our control.
We advise all clients to plan now to protect themselves, their family and their assets for the future. It is the norm to have insurance to protect our income or mortgage, a pension and ISA to look after ourselves in retirement, but unfortunately an LPA all too often gets missed off the to-do list!
Why should I consider planning for incapacity?
If you became physically or mentally incapable of dealing with your affairs and making your own decisions, no-one has the automatic right to deal with those matters on your behalf - not even people who we commonly think of as next of kin have any rights over our financial affairs.
This can pose real problems at a time when the smooth running of financial and welfare matters is essential for an incapacitated person’s general wellbeing.
Can I do something about this now?
Yes, and this is indeed the key to successful future planning.
We recommend that whilst you are fit and able to do so, you make a legal document called a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ (LPA). In this you appoint one or more persons to assist, support and - if necessary - take over dealing with your affairs and decisions should you lose your capacity to look after things by yourself.
There are two types of LPA; one that relates to all your property and financial matters, and one that covers your personal health and welfare decisions.
If you have a query concerning LPAs, please do not hesitate to contact us for Free First Advice. We also offer a Free Will & LPA Review service to ensure any documents you already have in place are legally accurate.