Lasting Powers of Attorney - do we need them?

16th October 2015

This week I attended the 'Full of Life' event in Silsden organised by Bradford Council.

There were a lot of useful services offering help, advice and information aimed at the older generation. I was encouraging people make wills and lasting powers of attorney.

Most of the people I met at the event had made wills already but very few had made lasting powers of attorney. When I asked them whether they were intending making one the response was that "I have not reached that point yet". I gently reminded people that the "point" that they need a lasting power of attorney may be too late.

 Mental incapacity can occur suddenly with a stroke or an accident at any age. It is not necessarily a gradual process as can be the case with dementia. Also, a registered lasting power of attorney can be used with your consent while you still have mental incapacity.  This means that if you are having difficulties with your hearing, sight or physical infirmity then your attorney can deal with telephone calls, visits to the bank or signing documents that may becoming too hard for you. 

The cost of making a lasting power of attorney through a solicitor is a few hundred pounds. The cost of applying to the court of protection when mental capacity has already been lost is 3 or 4 times that sum. 

Therefore, it is a good idea to seek advice about making a lasting power of attorney sooner rather than later.

Lindsey Johnson - Partner

Contracted with the Legal Aid Agency. Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Reg.No. 67202.

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