People are often prompted to consider or make LPA’s (Lasting Powers of Attorney) following a ‘trigger event’ like an accident or a major health diagnosis. However, this is not always the best time.
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the donor) appoint one or more people (known as attorneys) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
LPA’s must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before they can be used. Currently, the OPG is struggling with a huge backlog, with LPA’s taking more than five months to be registered and at present LPA’s cannot be digitally registered.
Considering an LPA in advance should run in conjunction with discussing all concerns, to include health, property and financial matters with relevant experts. By discussing all this well in advance, you have the opportunity to make informed decisions. For example, if you have a health condition that’s likely to get worse as time progresses, you can discuss future care requirements and even things like end-of-life instructions – simultaneously, you can decide upon appointing a family member or a friend as an attorney to look after and take care of finances – as when such daily requirements, like paying bills or drawing money out becomes difficult for you to do.
The point of LPA’s isn’t to take control away; it is actually about giving you control for as long as possible and more importantly, the control to make the important decisions that will affect how you live in the future.