The Benefits of Discretionary Trusts

From: The Office of the Public Guardian

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) allows you to nominate someone you trust, known as an attorney, to step in if you lose the mental capacity to make certain decisions yourself. They are legal documents that cover decisions about health and welfare, or property and finance.

In this blog Kamlesh, aged 49 from Leicester, shares why he decided to make an LPA and why family gatherings and celebrations could be a good place to start a conversation.

What’s something you’d like people to know about you?

I don’t take life too seriously. Outside of work I’m close to my family and friends and proud to belong to a thriving Asian community in Leicester. Diwali is upon us and it’s a time to reflect on what has gone by and what is to come in our new year. As I prepare to celebrate Diwali with my nearest and dearest, I am especially reminded of the importance of this quality time and what it means, but also the need to plan and how to take practical steps to do this.

Why do you think a family gathering or celebration like Diwali might be a good place to start a conversation about LPAs with loved ones?

Diwali at Kamlesh's home

It is important that the whole family are involved in the discussion process around LPAs so there are no shocks or surprises. Families usually gather around Diwali so it’s a great time to have this conversation.


Why did you decide to make an LPA?

I was an attorney for my parents previously and I made my own LPA last year as I had just gone through a divorce. This put into perspective the importance of getting my affairs in order. By profession I am also a Lawyer specialising in this area of law so have seen first-hand how having an LPA can support people.

How has having an LPA helped you and your family?

Honestly, it has given me such peace of mind. It is assurance for me that my decisions are respected should anything happen in the future, and my family understand those wishes.

Tell us about your relationship with your attorneys. How did you decide who your attorneys would be?

My attorneys are my best friend and my eldest daughter. I have brilliant relationships with them both. I understand the importance of balancing the love you have for your family and friends with the practicalities of life. I would recommend, if you are able, to think about who that person or people are that you trust to make decisions for you, if you’re not able to.

When did you bring up the subject of an LPA and have the conversation with your loved ones?

Obviously, my family and close friends know what I do for a job and were aware of my divorce and the changes this brought to my life. This made it a bit easier to start the conversation and they were all very supportive. We all talked about it together, and as my parents have LPA’s themselves, they understood my reasons and were pleased I was taking this step.

Why would you recommend others think about getting an LPA?

Being a member of the Asian community, I don’t think enough people know or understand what LPAs are and how they can help you. Without an LPA it’s not as straightforward as next of kin just stepping in. Having an LPA in place ensures that elders and loved ones have a final say and their decisions are respected.

No one has a crystal ball, so you never know what, if anything, is going to affect your life later down the line. Having an LPA will give you that peace of mind that you have decided who will support you when you need it.

Has anything surprised you about the LPA process?

Although it took time to process, there was lots of information online and the journey from application to registration was simple.

It’s never too early to talk about lasting powers of attorney with someone you trust. Start a conversation today.   

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