How we look after older people requiring care is at the top of the national agenda at the moment, as the Government grapples with the care funding crisis.
More people than ever before need care in their old age, with dementia a growing problem. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are now 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and that’s only set to grow.
With so many people reaching the stage where they can no longer make decisions for themselves, an increasingly useful option is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA is where you appoint someone as your ‘attorney’ to make decisions on your behalf, should you reach the stage where you can no longer do so.
The different types of LPA
There are two main types of LPA. The first is the LPA for financial decisions. This will cover things like buying and selling property, paying the mortgage, investing money and arranging repairs for your property.
There is also an LPA which covers health and care decisions. This allows your attorney to make decisions about things like where you should live and your medical care.
You can set up separate LPAs to cover these two areas, or a single LPA to cover them both if you wish.
Is one LPA enough?
Choosing a person to be your attorney can be difficult. You need to find someone who you trust to always act in your best interests, but who can also be relied upon to deal with the responsibility and administration that comes with the role.
Generally, people will choose a loved one, like their spouse or child. However, you can also appoint a professional, like a solicitor.
In fact, you can select more than one attorney – a main one, and a replacement. The replacement attorney can step in and make decisions for you if the original attorney is unable. As an example, you might name your partner as your attorney and your child as the replacement. This way, should your partner end up in a position where they are no longer able to make decisions on your behalf, perhaps because of their own health issues, your child can take over the responsibility.
Rob, Managing Director at Pembroke Wills said: “With dementia such a significant problem across the UK, it is essential to put plans in place on how to deal with it should you develop issues. That should extend beyond an LPA and include a comprehensive Will. By putting a Will in place, can guarantee that your assets are divided exactly as you wish.