Approximately 82% of the adult population in the UK do not have their Lasting Power of Attorney in place. These statistics are extremely high so we’re going to do some myth busting for Lasting Power of Attorney to help to explain their importance.
“I don’t need Lasting Power of Attorney until I become elderly and of ill health”
Anyone over the age of 18 should make their Lasting Power of Attorney. Mental capacity can be lost in many ways when you are younger including as a result of a car accident, workplace accident, an accident due to a dangerous sport or possibly a stroke. It can also help with loss of capacity due to a mental illness.
The best way to protect yourself against these situations is to have your Lasting Power of Attorney in place as early as possible. If you wait and then lose mental capacity, it will be too late to put the documents in place and your loved ones will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. This is not only very expensive, but can take approximately 10-12 months.
“I don’t need Lasting Power of Attorney because my next of kin can make decisions for me”
This is not the case. No-one has the automatic right the act on your behalf or to make decisions for you unless they have been legally authorised to do so – this includes spouses and children.
“I have appointed Executors in my Will, so they can make decisions for me”
Whilst your Will is a very important document to have, it is completely separate to Lasting Power of Attorney. A Will only comes into effect when you die, whilst a Lasting Power of Attorney is used when you are alive. Executors have no authority to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime.
“We have joint bank accounts so don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney in place”
This is not only untrue, but is a huge concern when couples are told this. A joint bank account does not automatically mean that the partner will have access to funds in order to continue paying bills, mortgage or other expenses. If one partner loses mental capacity, the banks have the authority to remove access and freeze the account until they have received a copy of the Registered Lasting Power of Attorney. This can add much additional stress at an already difficult time.
If you would like to know more about making your Power of Attorney, please get in touch on 01953 711950 or email@example.com. Alternatively, you can check out our Will Writing page for more information: https://trustedlaw.co.uk/services/power-of-attorney/