Why Do I Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney

If you were to suffer an accident and subsequently be confined to bed or hospital, contract an illness or have a more serious accident that permanently incapacitates you, or become mentally incapacitated as a result of old age or some other reason, then without an LPA in place, the ONLY way your financial affairs can be managed is by an application (by a relative or someone close to you) being made to the Court of Protection for Deputyship.The application to court would need to provide personal information about themselves, their family, their own finances and the relationship with the person they wish to help care for. Medical evidence also needs to be obtained. This process costs a considerable amount of money and can take anything between 12 weeks and 10 months, by which time your finances could be seriously damaged.

Even worse, a Judge will make the final decision as to who is appointed as the Deputy and this may not be who you would have wished to manage your affairs. The appointment does not even have to be a family member, preferring to appoint a Panel Deputy, either retired Solicitors or Barristers who work for the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) or a local authority.

Whilst the Court of Protection is important to safeguard the interests of people who don't have close friends or family, if you want your loved ones to be able to care for you and make decisions on your behalf, you should ensure that you make an LPA whilst you are still able to do so.

It is currently estimated that 55,000 people are registered with the Court of Protection who are deemed mentally incapable to act on their own behalf. Their affairs are placed under the jurisdiction of the Court.

This would mean that those seeking to care for you, such as your family would have the added stress of having to deal with officials, every time a decision needed to be made. They would also have no official say in any medical treatment for you even when they knew what your wishes would have been.

It is therefore obvious why arranging your LPA's while you have the capacity to do so is strongly advised.