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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney, or LPAs as they are commonly referred to, enable decisions to be made following loss of mental capability.  If you lose your ability in this area you lose the power of decision making for yourself. It is therefore vital that you put that trust of decision into the hands of someone you know will follow your directions.  If these directions are written down there are no ‘Well I think he/she wanted this or would have preferred this…’  or family members at odds with each other only because of differing viewpoints. 

Let’s take the Lasting Power of Attorney for the Health & Welfare first. 


This is a document you put in place so if you are incapacitated in some way a designated person, or persons, of your choice can make decisions on your behalf as to your care. 


Imagine the retired father who suddenly falls ill and needs treatment but is unable to make his own decision due to the trauma. None of his family are allowed to make life- sustaining decisions for him as they have no legal document in place to do so.  They are not even sure what decision he might have made. 


What about the mother in her 80’s who just loves her home. You know she would rather die in peace at home, not in a hospital bed where you may or may not be able to be with her. But you are not covered by a legal document to insist this occurs. 


With this LPA in place you will be able to assign who looks after your Health and Welfare and who will make decisions based on your behalf, for you. 


Please note there is an Advance Directive that can also be put in place regarding specific medical situations and your wishes regarding these. 



Now let’s look at Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs.


This is a vital document that is put in place, again if you are incapacitated, so that the person or persons, again of your choice, can administer your finances, pay your bills, make financial decisions on your behalf and so forth, when you cannot. 


Imagine how it must be for the bread winner of the family to have a life threatening accident and not being able to sort his finances out as he was the only signatory on the accounts and no one else to do this?  The upset and hardship this can cause to the immediate family can have devastating ramifications. 


Imagine the elderly mother in a coma, needing fast private specialist care that she has funds for but in her own bank account but which cannot be released. It might take at least 6 weeks to free up using a court order (that will also cost to set up) which causes anguish and stress for the loved ones having to deal with this. 


If this LPA is in place money can be transferred, property matters can be dealt with and bills and bank accounts can be sorted in a timely manner. 


The story of clients who had not set up their LPAs, as they assumed as a married couple they would have automatic control over each other’s affairs, was upsetting. When the husband was taken ill with Alzheimer’s, they soon realised it was not that easy.  They had to apply for a court of protection order which was costly and took a lot of time.  Consequently the husband became significantly worse and his wife was unable to help him.

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