Last year the Ministry of Justice ran a ‘Choice not chance’ campaign, in an attempt to make people aware of the importance of planning for their future by making Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. The campaign highlighted the disproportionate number of people who had Wills in comparison to the number who had Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
Lack of understanding and general misconceptions about LPAs can lead people to postpone or even put off making an LPA. There are different types of LPAs which do different jobs. The point of making an LPA is about taking control and planning for the future. In order to make an LPA you must have the sufficient mental capacity. The threshold for mental capacity to make an LPA is higher than the threshold required to make a Will. So it is important that a person makes their LPA at a time when they are able to understand and retain the information that they are being provided with and make an informed decision about who they would like to appoint as their Attorney.
Postponing making an LPA increases the risk that person may not have sufficient mental capacity to make the choice in this regard. If a person lacks the requisite mental capacity then it is NOT possible for them to make an LPA. Instead, their relatives or friends will have to make an application to the Court of Protection to obtain a deputyship order to deal with their affairs. Which removes your choice in this regard and instead leaves it to chance. The chance that the right family member or friend would make the court application on your behalf and that there would be sufficient funds in place to do so.
As a population, in general, we are living longer than our predecessors and we face different difficulties as we get older. This is why it is so important to plan for the future and to make a choice about who you would want to appoint as your Attorney/s, how you would like them to act and when you would want them to begin assisting you.
Don’t leave it to chance and contact one our members of the private client team to discuss your future planning further.