I don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney

“I don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney” and other common misconceptions.

Donnelly & Elliott has assisted many families in planning for their future. In the 70 years we have been supporting the families of Gosport, we have noticed that there are a number of common misconceptions that demonstrate how misunderstood Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions…

“I don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney as my spouse/family will look after me”

A family member can be a signatory on your bank account. However you will need to set this up for each account that you hold, or that you need them to have access to. This is also only relevant while you have the capacity, as soon as you lose capacity you are no longer able to authorise your signatory.

If the bank has concerns about your ability to manage your affairs, this facility will stop and your accounts will be frozen. Your accounts will only be unfrozen when you are able to present a doctor’s report confirming that your capacity is not compromised or an LPA or Deputyship order. The bank will grant access to all accounts if they receive a valid Lasting Power of Attorney or Deputyship order.

A Deputyship order is issued by the Court if an LPA hasn’t been made, they take longer to process and are more expensive than an LPA. With a deputyship order there is an on-going commitment to the court to report annually, the Court also insist that there needs to be an indemnity bond in place. This is another on-going expense as you also have to pay an annual administration fee to the court.

“I don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney as I have a joint bank account”

If you lose capacity, you also lose the ability to consent to the joint owner using that account. If your bank becomes aware of your lack of capacity they will freeze the joint account as above, again cutting of access to your family when they need it most.

“I’m fine now and I’ll make a Lasting Power of Attorney later if I need one”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. As soon as you start to lose capacity it is too late for you to write an LPA. The best time to write an LPA is now.

We are often approached by families that ask for help once their loved one has already started to struggle or can no longer manage.

“I have no close family to appoint”

There is no obligation for you to appoint a family member as your Attorney; you can appoint any adult that you trust.

If you have no family or close friends to appoint, you may want to consider appointing a professional of your choosing. If you do not make a choice and later lose capacity, the Court will make this decision for you. This could result in the Court appointing someone you would not wish to know about your financial/personal affairs.

Writing a Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to choose who deals with your financial and/or health decisions. In the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney a local authority, a Court appointed Solicitor or Social Services could be appointed.

“My Will says who will deal with my financial affairs/will get my money”

A Will sets out how your finances and estate will be managed after your death. An LPA covers decisions about your financial and/or health during your life. If you are planning for the future, you should consider both Lasting Powers of Attorney and Wills.

Don’t leave your family without the ability to help you when you and they need it most.

If you have any additional questions on Lasting Powers of Attorney or would like to find out more, please contact us on 02392 505500 or email enqs@donnelly-elliott.co.uk