A recent survey by Which? has revealed that 71% of people have no plans for end-of-life care, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), a ‘living will’, or advance decisions detailing their preferences for medical treatment should they find themselves unable to make these choices later in life. Over half (58%) of respondents had discussed their end-of-life care preferences with friends or family but just under a third have done anything to put these decisions into place!
Writing a Will is the most common preparation for the future, but a Will is only able to provide an outline for your wishes regarding property, possessions, finances and assets, along with the care of any dependents. When it comes to your own welfare, whether that’s in forty years’ time or four weeks, the only real way to protect your well-being and future care is to arrange Lasting Powers of Attorney.
An LPA is a legal document that appoints an ‘attorney’ (or several) to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so due to illness, injury, or mental incapacity. There are two branches of Lasting Powers of Attorney: one that covers property and financial affairs, and one that covers health and welfare.
Both types of LPA enable your appointed ‘attorney’ – usually a family member, friend, or your solicitor – to follow your given instructions on how to manage your estate, assets, and well-being on your behalf. This might involve selling property and organising a move to a nursing home, or liaising with medical professionals about your care. Without an LPA in place, these decisions may end up being made without your input or preference.
Having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place takes the worry out of the ‘what ifs’, providing peace of mind that whatever happens in the future, your choices will be honoured and both you and your family will have support and care.
It can feel a little morbid to be considering worst case scenarios and end-of-life care, but much like a Will, an LPA serves to make it easier to deal with the situation when it comes, and can help to relieve a lot of the stress involved with legal issues during a difficult time.
To speak to someone about arranging Lasting Powers of Attorney, making a Will, or dealing with probate, book a consultation with one of our friendly, down-to-earth solicitors at Frances Lindsay & Co and let us take the weight off your shoulders.