The world is living through uncertain times at the moment.
Unfortunately, historically healthy people are dying or being left incapacitated as a result of contracting Covid-19.
If a person is left unable to assert their wishes once they have lost capacity, there is a fear that those acting on their behalf may not make decisions in line with the person’s beliefs.
The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is calling on families to consider making Lasting Powers of Attorneys in order to make sensible precautions at such an uncertain time.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legally binding document where the creator (donor) gives the appointed person (attorney) the right to make decisions on their behalf if the donor loses capacity to make safe decisions themselves. Or, in some circumstances, the donor can pass the right to the attorney whilst they still have capacity.
A lasting power of attorney has no expiry and can be made via application to the Office of the Public Guardian and can be made to protect both financial and health matters.
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This form of LPA will enable the attorney to help out with the management of bank accounts; paying all bills; collecting benefits and pensions and if needed, coordinating the sale of property.
Health and Welfare LPA
At such difficult times, many people have been struck down with incapacity and have faced unwanted time in intensive care as they battle the virus.
Having a plan already in place would help the medical community understand the best way to help your recovery whilst ensuring your express wishes are considered.
This form of LPA would enable the attorney to make decisions on your medical care; the life-sustaining medical treatments you may need; the medical care you receive and decisions on the care you receive concerning eating, washing or dressing.
The signing and witnessing of these documents can be made via post or by innovative ways to comply with social distancing measure through witnessing on a door step, over a garden fence or through a window.