What would happen if you lost your mental capacity?

People often don’t tend to realise the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney until they see the effect of a loved one losing the ability to understand information and to make decisions for themselves.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are documents that allow a person, chosen by you, to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. In other words, your chosen ‘attorneys’ can assist you in handling your paperwork and decision making when you may be unable to deal with it. This can be either decisions relating to your property and financial affairs, enabling them, for example, to pay bills and collect your pension on your behalf or alternatively, to make decisions on your health and welfare such as what care home is most suitable for you.

If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and you lose your mental capacity, someone will need to make an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. This is likely to be very costly and can take many months. In the meantime, nothing can be done in relation to your finances.

I always recommend that my clients consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney. The document may never need to be used however, if anything should happen to them, they have the peace of mind of knowing that they have chosen someone they trust to assist them without any delay or expense.

If you would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney in more detail, please contact one of our private client team.

 

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