We are pretty sure that we can come up with 5 reasons that you DON’T have a Lasting Power of Attorney.
1. They might be expensive.
2. My partner will sort me out.
3. I don’t want someone to control my life.
4. I have joint ownership of everything.
5. Aren’t those for old people?
And just for good measure, a 6th reason…
6. Who has time for that?
All of those are orbiting around One Big Reason.
Thinking about the point in your life when you are going to need a Lasting Power of Attorney is a drag.
We get it.
So we are going to talk about
Why not having a Lasting Power of Attorney is an even bigger drag than getting it done.
(Pssst … if you want to print this out and put it under your grown children’s noses, we aren’t going to stop you. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney is one of those grown-up chores no one likes to do, but you know they should have one.)
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
It is a legal document that allows you to give authority to the people you trust to make decisions for you when you can’t make them yourself.
You can have both a Property and Finance Limited Power of Attorney and a Health and Welfare Limited Power of Attorney.
You can choose different people for different jobs, or even a panel of people to make decisions for you when you can’t do it yourself. It’s all under your control as long as you make this document while you still have ‘capacity’.
It is no good if you are already in a coma and didn’t set up a Lasting Power of Attorney.
1. The Cost of NOT Having a Lasting Power of Attorney.
The cost of not having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place when a life altering event happens is painful to think about.
It’s the emotional costs that your family goes through, trying to navigate a system of paperwork, fees, and constant pushback.
It’s the cost of having a deputyship contested.
It’s the cost of you trying to reassert yourself as the master of your own fate when you recover.
It’s the possibility of YOU having to contest an established deputyship (proving incapacity is a lot easier than proving capacity).
But the low down, bottom line. The cold hard cash line?
Starting costs to establish a deputyship on behalf of someone not able to prove capacity begin at £365. That’s not including court fees if there is a dispute. That is just the application fee.
The average cost of Lasting Power of Attorney documents isn’t that much, AND it keeps you in control, instead of someone you might not want steering your life.
2. Choose Your Guardian Angel with a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Imagine if you had a guardian angel. Someone who had your best interests at heart.
Someone you know would look after you if anything ever happened and you couldn’t look after yourself.
Someone who has a physical manifestation and will hold up in court (a higher power isn’t always recognised).
Most likely, someone’s face popped into your mind’s eye. It could be your son or daughter. A best friend or a sibling. A loving partner or spouse.
Imagine that you could actually give them the power to look out for you when you can’t look out for yourself. No one can dispute their decisions. It’s rock solid.
A spouse or a legally recognized partner can automatically make medical decisions for you. But financial ones? Not so much.
That’s what a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to do.
Instead of wondering what would happen if you were to get ill or lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, you can do something about it with a Lasting Power of Attorney.
And you can choose more than one person. If you want to have a panel of family members jointly make decisions for you, you can.
You can also decide what KIND of decisions they can make. Don’t want them to be able to sell your house? You can make a provision for that.
Make sure they take care of your pets and don’t send them to the shelter? You have that ability as well.
When you are proactive, you get to be in control of who your guardian angel is and what their powers are. Without it, you could end up with a deputyship…think Britney Spears, but without all Instagram followers.
3. Lasting Powers of Attorney can be Turned Off.
If you have to stay in the hospital for an extended period and need to enact your Lasting Power of Attorney, you can do so at your convenience.
When you are ready to get back to living your life, you can revoke your Lasting Power of Attorney.
You cannot do that with a deputyship as easily as you can with a Lasting Power of Attorney. You could have a fight on your hands. Especially if the deputy placed in charge of your affairs likes being in charge.
Don’t let it get to that point. When you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, you can much more easily reclaim control than if a deputyship was put in place to manage your affairs.
4. Your Small Business is Taken Care Of with a Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you are the major engine that runs your SME, you need a Lasting Power of Attorney in place to take care of your clients, your employees, and your bank accounts when you can’t.
A joint signer on a business account isn’t enough. While you may trust your business partner with making some decisions, you need to have your interests looked after by someone who has your best future in mind.
Don’t let your business grind to a halt because you didn’t plan ahead. Get a Lasting Power of Attorney in place that gives power to the person you know is going to take care of your business, your employees and your bottom line.
5. Human Beings are Fragile, LPAs Extend Your Reach.
Our biggest frailty? Believing that we are going to be healthy forever.
You aren’t alone in thinking that nothing is going to get in the way of you dying at the age of 114 on Mars due to a freak jet ski accident.
Here’s the thing. Life keeps coming at you. It’s got ups and downs (hopefully more ups) but you have to be prepared for the downs.
We get in car accidents.
We tumble down hiking trails.
We get cancer out of the blue.
We get sick from pandemics that no one except disease specialists predicted.
Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer in the UK.
There were over 116k serious injuries related to car accidents in the UK in the last year.
Are you going to be the only person who isn’t affected by the Human Condition?
Lasting Powers of Attorney exist so that you have a say in how you are taken care of between the time you fall ill and get better…or don’t.
This document doesn’t make you immortal. But it does give you the ability to have control over your life when you feel powerless.
6. Lasting Power of Attorney = Self-Care.
Think of setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney as the “self-care” for the future you.
No one wants to see their life fall apart because they were incapacitated in the hospital for 6 weeks.
You also don’t want to get dumped in a care home because the person who nominated themselves as your deputy couldn’t care less how you spend your days recovering from an illness.
Take care of your future self by getting this in place now. And, SURPRISE! You can get advice and documents drawn up while you are sitting at home. It doesn’t have to be a time suck!
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney isn’t expensive and it doesn’t have to be time consuming. It does, however, need to get done, and it should be done by professionals.
Have questions? At Olive Tree Law, we have answers.
Just ask to speak with Chris or Robynne.