A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be one of the most important documents you’ll ever sign, preventing loss of income and saving your family from huge stresses and struggle at a difficult time.
An LPA lets you appoint another person, or a group of people, to make important decisions and act on your behalf if you become incapacitated for any period of time.
Despite this, millions of people in the UK don’t have this essential document simply because they don’t realise they exist or because they are confused about what they are and how they work.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the seven most common myths surrounding lasting powers of attorney.
1: LPA’s are for older people
Although most commonly associated with retirees, an LPA can and should be made by anyone over the age of 18 who has full mental capacity.
Even simple things like paying bills and arranging overdrafts can be carried out on your behalf if you have an LPA, providing an essential safety net should you have an accident or get sick.
2: I can get an LPA once I need one
The danger of this approach is that you cannot make an LPA if you do not have full mental capacity. So, even if you are young, fit and healthy, a sudden accident or illness such as a breakdown or falling into a coma, would mean that it would be too late for your family to gain access to your finances or make important decisions on your behalf.
3: I’m married so I don’t need an LPA
Married couples assume they can act for each-other with legal authority. However, they cannot due to the Data Protection Act. Whether married or not, every adult requires an LPA in order to act on behalf of another.
4: LPAs are for the rich
An LPA is not just for wealthy people. A young working person is just as likely to need someone to able to make important decisions about their medical treatment and finances as anyone else. This is a common mistake that can often lead to real difficulty for people down the line.
5: I’m young, fit, healthy and busy! What do I need an LPA for?
If you are in the prime of life and busy working away and paying off a mortgage, the chances are you need an LPA more than your older relatives!
If you’re self-employed or building a business, think about who would be able to access your account to pay bills and wages in the event of an accident or illness? Running a business without one is a massive risk.
6: Getting an LPA is far too complicated
An LPA is a simple document that can be made quickly and without any fuss, with the assistance of our team. Most prepare one when they write a Will, but you can have one created independently at any time. Don’t put it off just because you think it will be involve lots of toing and froing. We can deal with that for you.
7: LPAs are expensive to organise
The cost of an LPA is often lower than you might think. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and fees vary from one company to another; but in comparison, an application to the Court of Protection (the alternative if you do not have an LPA) is considerably more. It can cost up to £5000 for a single court application!
Still confused? Our consultants are here to guide you through the process. Why not give us a call on 0208 340 3102