The Benefits of Discretionary Trusts

From: The Office of the Public Guardian

A Lasting Power of Attorney (also known as an LPA) if a legal document that allows you to nominate someone you trust to step in and make decisions about your health and welfare and property and finance if you lack mental capacity to do so.   

Image of Shirin

 Shirin Housee, aged 62, lives in South Birmingham with her husband and two children. She was a Senior Lecturer in sociology at a University in the West Midlands and retired in 2021.  

After Shirin became an attorney for her Dad, she decided to look into options for making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for herself. Here she shares her story…  

When did you make your LPA?  

 My Father decided to make an LPA and asked me and my sister to be his attorneys. During the process I really got to understand what a lasting power of attorney is and how important it is.   

As someone who plans ahead in pretty much everything I do, it made sense for my Husband and I to make our LPAs to secure my wishes and protect my interests. This was just before our 60th birthdays. 

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

Any conversation about what will happen when you are sick, or any talk about one’s final wishes will never be easy, so of course it was a tearful moment when we approached the subject. Our children didn’t want to believe we were getting older but it’s a hurdle you must cross.  

 By being open and honest we were able to talk through everything and ensure that my boys understood their responsibilities as my attorneys.  

 Following my Father’s death, we were all in shock. We had to plan care for my Mother and it brought home the reality that when we become vulnerable, our loved ones should have their wishes respected. This first-hand experience encouraged me to make an LPA myself.  

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

I have two grown sons, who I have great relationships with. For me it was an obvious choice to make my boys my attorneys as they would step in and follow my wishes if need be. I made it a point to explain the process to them and what their responsibilities would be.  

Why would you recommend others think about getting an LPA?  

We all must have an LPA to help secure and protect our wishes. It is not fair for our children to deal with difficult decisions about our wellbeing if anything happens to us and this has not been clarified through an LPA. It is far easier and less painful, if we set down our plans, wants and needs. Making my LPA was a learning process and I really understood the importance of it as I was taking mine out.   

Having gone through it I really do have peace of mind that my sons will be able to make decisions on my behalf if they need to.   

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

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