Business in Cardiff

Lasting Powers of Attorney – Why you should make a will

Rhiwbina Solicitor Emyr Pierce explains why making a Will is so important

Many of us have unfortunately experienced the effect which becoming either physically, or mentally incapable of managing their own affairs may have on the lives of loved ones.

It is increasingly important for all of us to consider who we would wish to manage our affairs should we become physically or mentally incapable to do so for ourselves as a result of illness, old age, or injury.

The creation of Lasting Powers of Attorney would enable you in such circumstances to appoint reliable and trustworthy individuals of your choice to manage your Property and Financial affairs, and also make decisions regarding your Health and Welfare.

The Health and Welfare LPA authorises the Attorney to deal with all matters involving the medical and welfare issues of the Donor, also granting the Donor the opportunity to authorise (or not as the case may be) the Attorney to give a direction on behalf of the Donor for the “ceasing of life-sustaining treatment”.

It also deals with arrangements made for the Donor’s Care, and covers such matters as Nursing Home Care, packages for Care in the Home, and dealing with Social Services generally at a time when a lack of funding can cause disputes between the Authorities and relatives regarding the level of Care for a loved one.

When deciding on whom to appoint as your Attorneys, the obvious candidates pick themselves, as they are often those children or relatives who have already been caring for, or managing, the day to day needs of the Donor. Executing an LPA will give those individuals the critical legal right to act on the Donor’s behalf.

Great care and consideration should be given to those less obvious candidates as the power given by these documents is substantial, and potentially dangerous in the wrong hands.

You are advised to consider appointing more than one Attorney to ensure that, if your Attorney pre-deceases you, or loses capacity, then there would be no need to go through the whole process all over again. You are able to nominate, ‘Replacement Attorneys’ in the event that your Attorney, or Attorneys, may have either pre-deceased you, or are not able to carry out their duties as your Attorney, for whatever reason.

A critical change introduced by the LPA process is the compulsory requirement to register the LPA first and before it is valid, and capable of being used. This registration process involves a fee, currently £82 for each LPA.

Together with a further requirement to notify at least one person of your intention to execute an LPA, and who has a statutory period in which to object if the Donor is deemed to have been unduly influenced, this results in the registration process taking, on average, up to 3 months from the date of their execution before they can be validly used by the Attorney.

Accordingly, it is very important to decide early should you wish to execute these documents in order to avoid either untimely delays in the future, or the absence of this legal authorisation should an Attorney need to act quickly.

At Emyr Pierce Solicitors, we recognise the importance of these documents and their potential cost to the Donor, and that these costs may prove to be a deterrent. We have therefore introduced fixed price packages for individuals and married couples with an emphasis on the need to process applications as cost-effectively and as quickly as possible.

Speak to Emyr Pierce at www.emyrpierce.co.uk or on 029 2061 6002.

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