Myths about Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are lots of myths, assumptions and misunderstanding around the law of Lasting Powers of Attorney. This article seeks to identify those assumptions and to state clearly what the law says about the management of your financial affairs and decisions made about your healthcare should you not have the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself.
“I don’t need an LPA because my next of kin can make important decisions on my behalf”
This is not true. No-one can act on your behalf or make decisions on your behalf if they have not been legally authorised to do so.
“My Will has appointed executors, so they’ll be able to make decisions on my behalf.”
Not true. A Will is entirely separate to an LPA. Executors appointed in a Will only have the power or authority to distribute your estate as requested and in line with your Will, on death. They have no authority to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime.
“I don’t need an LPA until I become elderly and of ill health”
Not true. An LPA can be made by anyone over the age or 18 who has full mental capacity. Someone may lose capacity or no longer be able to make decisions due to an accident, being in a coma or other mental illness.
The sooner you put an LPA in place the better, as you know provisions will have been put in place in the event the unthinkable happens. If you wait and, in that time, lose capacity, it will be too late to get an LPA and your loved ones will need to apply for a Deputyship Order from the Court of Protection. This will not only take a long time but also a costly process.
“Once my health and welfare LPA is registered, it means someone else can make decisions for me and I don’t want that while I have capacity”
Not true. A health and welfare LPA only comes into effect when the donor loses capacity even if the LPA has been registered.
“Getting an LPA is expensive”
The cost of registering an LPA is £82 per document. In comparison, if you fail to make an LPA and lose capacity, your family will be left with no other option but to apply for a Deputyship Order, this will cost significantly more.
“Me and my partner have joint bank accounts so we don’t need LPA’s”
Not true. This is always the most alarming to couples when they are told that even if they have a joint bank account, this does not mean the partner will be able to automatically access funds to pay for bills, mortgage or general expenses. If the spouse was to lose capacity, the bank have the ability to remove access and freeze the account until they receive a copy of the registered LPA which is extremely stressful for the spouse.
Source: Society of Will Writers
To put an LPA in place for you or your loved ones, please contact us
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