Lasting Powers of Attorney – a tool for everyone
Earlier this year the organisation Solicitors for the Elderly warned us about the upcoming ‘incapacity crisis’ in the UK , but last week news emerged proving that ‘incapacity’ is not a complaint reserved just for the elderly. A young man aged 23 is reported as being the youngest adult in the UK ever to be diagnosed with dementia. Jordan Adams has been told that his life could end in his fifties as a result of this degenerative condition. In an article feature in The Telegraph Jordan suggests “Nobody can prepare you for that”.
Most people associate a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) with elderly relatives who need help managing their financial affairs. Most people know someone who is acting as attorney for an older relative, but Jordan’s plight reminds us that incapacity through illness or accident could happen at any age and that adults in all walks of life may want to consider what they would want to happen if they were to lose capacity.
Under a LPA you (the donor) can choose one or more individuals (your attorneys) to handle your affairs and make decisions on your behalf in the event that you are no longer able to yourself. You need to execute a LPA while you still have the capacity to do so and a diagnosis of dementia may not mean you no longer have capacity, so there may still be time to get your affairs in order.
Whilst, like writing a will, it is something many of us make think is more relevant in later life but in certain circumstances a Lasting Power of Attorney can be both a practical step and a comfort to those facing health problems at a younger age. You may also want to consider a Lasting Power of Attorney in other circumstances – for example if you are moving abroad but want to retain assets in the UK.
Here at Coffin Mew we can assist you in getting your affairs in order, before it becomes a necessity. Be prepared for the future and think of your LPA as an insurance policy – you hope you never have to use it, but it offers you the security and protection you may one day need.