The question of when you should make an LPA is much like the question of when to make a will. A strong answer will always be: “Right now, before it’s too late.” After all, a life-changing accident, illness or event can happen without warning at any time. From property and financial affairs to health and welfare matters, an LPA ensures a trusted ‘attorney’ can make important decisions about your life when you are unable to do so (or help you make those decisions). Acting now to protect your long-term interests is advisable. By definition, you cannot prepare an LPA when you have already lost the mental capacity to make decisions.
Our lovely Cheshire office at Harthill, near Chester, is the perfect place in which to enjoy expert advice on your particular needs, relax in a comfortable chair and think through your options.
You must be at least 18 years of age to make an LPA. At the other end of the age spectrum, the chances of facing conditions that can impact your memory and mental abilities, such as dementia, increase as you grow older. You should certainly bear that fact in mind as you consider when and if to make an LPA.
Don’t avoid making an LPA in the mistaken belief you will instantly lose control of key aspects of your life. A ‘health and welfare’ LPA can only be used when you are unable to make your own decisions. A ‘property and financial affairs’ LPA can be used, with your permission, as soon as registered. In fact, therefore, if you wish, an attorney can make decisions about money and property for you even when you still have the mental capacity to act yourself. Alternatively, you can make clear you only want the attorney to act on these matters if you lose mental capacity.
Critically, you can cancel or change your LPA at any time, as long as you still have the mental capacity to make decisions.
Although you might want to act swiftly in making an LPA, try not to rush your choice of an attorney (or attorneys; you can have more than one). Difficult decisions might become necessary in time, so your attorney should be someone calm under pressure.
Without an LPA, can you be sure your wishes will be known and respected if you lose your mental capacity? An LPA brings you peace of mind and, potentially, helps to secure not only your financial future but also the futures of your loved ones. If you want expert advice on LPAs, in a relaxed atmosphere that leaves you free to think clearly, why not call us now?