Managing Your Personal Affairs

Management of your personal affairs is always a top priority but as you advance in age planning for the time when you may no longer be able to manage them is crucial! Making a Will is a very important part of protecting your assets and making sure that they go to the people you really want to benefit from them when you pass away, but it is as important to protect them during your life time so you can pass them on.

It can often be difficult to make decisions at the best of times but as you get older it can be very reassuring to know that you have appointed someone you trust as your ‘Attorney’ to make those decisions for you. In order to appoint an ‘Attorney’ you will need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a document which allows you to appoint an ‘Attorney’, both your health and financial affairs either as and when you require or when you lose mental capacity to do so.

It is even worth considering making an LPA when you are younger and in good health in case you have any serious health problems in the future or an accident which may lead to mental or physical problems.

With an LPA in place you can live peacefully with the knowledge that should anything happen to you then someone you have appointed and whom you trust can look after you and your personal affairs.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

It can often be difficult to make decisions at the best of times but as you get older it can be very reassuring to know that you have appointed someone you trust as your ‘attorney’ to make those decisions for you. In order to appoint an ‘Attorney’ you will need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is a document which allows you to appoint someone you trust as your Attorney to make important decisions on either your health or financial affairs or both, either as and when you require it or when you lose mental capacity to do so.

It is even worth considering making an LPA when you are younger and in good health in case you have any serious health problems in the future or an accident which may lead to mental or physical problems.

With an LPA in place you can live peacefully with the knowledge that should anything happen to you then someone you have appointed and whom you trust can look after you and your personal affairs.

There are two types of LPAs, a ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ LPA and a ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA.

 

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

By a ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ LPA you can appoint an Attorney to manage your property and finances. This can include running your bank accounts and finances, and buying, managing and selling investments and property on your behalf. You can allow your Attorney to act on your behalf straight away, perhaps for your own convenience. Alternatively you can make the LPA now but specify that it can only be used at a time when you do not have the capacity to administer your affairs yourself, perhaps as a result of an illness or accident.

Health and Welfare LPA

A ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA enables your Attorney to make decisions regarding your personal healthcare and welfare. This can include where you live, who visits you and the type of care you receive. It can also include decisions regarding the refusal of life-sustaining treatment. Such decisions can only be made by your Attorney when and if you lack capacity, for example if you were seriously ill or because of the onset of a condition such as dementia.

You must be of sound mind to create an LPA, so it is crucial to explore your options as soon as possible with a solicitor. For more information please click on this to see our information sheet.

What you can do when a relative lacks mental capacity?

It can be extremely distressing when a member of your family you love starts to lack the mental capacity to make decisions. Unless you have an instrument in place to take over their personal affairs you may find that you are completely unable to access their bank accounts, make decisions on their behalf regarding their welfare or collect any of their benefits for them. So, for example, a person with dementia may need a Deputy to collect their income and benefits and sell assets in order to pay care home charges. Or a person with an acquired brain injury may need a Deputy to administer a court settlement to pay for an ongoing care regime, or make decisions about medical treatment.

When this is the case it may be necessary to make a Deputyship application to the court protection so that you can manage either their financial affairs or their personal welfare or both.

 

Managing Your Personal Affairs
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