Is it time you set up a lasting power of attorney?
Written by Cindy-Marie Leicester on May 12, 2016.
Did you know that over the course of the 20th century life expectancy in the wealthiest countries in the world increased from around 50 to 75 years? That is an amazing statistic and one to be celebrated. And life expectancy continues to increase. In the UK an average life expectancy of 100 will be a reality for the next generation, something that would have been unimaginable even 50 years ago.
An aging population is not without its issues. One of the biggest is the likelihood of succumbing to a neurological disease such as dementia in old age. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one in six people aged 80 and over have dementia. Such debilitating conditions can leave us vulnerable in our latter years, not least in the management of our financial affairs when we are no longer capable of managing them ourselves.
You might assume that loved ones can automatically take over the management of your finances if you lose mental capacity but that is not the case. If you have not put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney your family will have to apply to the courts to be able to manage your money and this can be a long and costly process.
That is why setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a sensible thing to do, even if you are in complete possession of all your mental capacities with no reason to believe that you will lose them in the near future. Of course, dementia is not the only way you could lose your mental capacity. Although unlikely, that could happen at any age for example if you have an accident which puts you into a coma or if you suffer a stroke or an injury to your brain. And once you lose capacity, it is too late to put in place an LPA so, whatever your age, this is something you should consider.
People often hesitate to set up an LPA thinking that they are handing control to someone else but your nominated representative should only ever be in charge of the decision-making if you are physically and/or mentally unable to do so, for example if you are in a coma. If you then wake up from the coma, you once again take control.
If you have assets in the UK and are not intending to return, a will and LPA will ease the passing of assets to your beneficiaries. If you would like to talk through the ins and outs, please do get in touch.
Cindy-Marie Leicester provides will writing services as a third party professional adviser and Infinity Financial Solutions Ltd takes no responsibility for the goods and services provided by any third party to whom clients are referred.
In no event shall Infinity be liable to you, or any third party, for direct, indirect or consequential damages, cost or loss of profits arising from your use of third party referral services. Infinity may receive a referral fee from third party will writers for introductions.