Before you need a Care Home you’ll need an LPA!
Often people move into residential care due to developing dementia or Alzheimer’s resulting in a loss of capacity. Lee Baker, Head of Care Home Fees explains why a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be so important in these circumstances.
“Statistics show that one-in-three people aged over 65 develops dementia. In addition to the emotional trauma the families of these people experience there can be practical stresses and frustrations – if you make an LPA it can help avoid some of these. Anyone who loses capacity and becomes unable to manage their own financial affairs or make arrangements for their health and welfare could benefit from an LPA which would appoint an attorney who could step in and take charge in these circumstances. Without an LPA no one would have an automatic right or ability to take charge in this way. Critical bills, such as energy bills, could remain unpaid leaving spouses in a vulnerable position.
“An LPA is a legal document drawn up by someone who has mental capacity and in which they (the donor) appoint an attorney - a trusted friend or relative - to look after their affairs if they lost capacity. Once an LPA is set up and registered is doesn’t have to be used immediately. Your attorney should only make a choice for you if you are unable to make that particular decision at the time it needs to be made. If you regain capacity then you should be able to make your own decisions again.
“There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney: a Property and Financial LPA giving the attorney authority to handle property and financial matters and a Health and Welfare LPA enabling the attorney to make decisions regarding social and personal needs.
“One important point to remember is that you can only set up an LPA when you have mental capacity. Once you’ve lost capacity it’s too late to proceed. If you do leave it too late then your family or someone close to you would have to make an application to the Court of Protection. This court would appoint a deputy who will make choices about the person’s finances or personal welfare. Proceeding through the Court of Protection can be both expensive and uncertain – having an LPA in place avoids this.”
Content correct at time of publication