Lasting Power of Attorney important for older people

by Sarah Ashcroft

Older people are likely to be aware of the need to make a will to protect their friends and family in the event of their death, but they may not realise the benefits that can be achieved through making a loved one a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

Wills are there so possessions and assets can be divided up in the event of a person dying, but an LPA has a different set of advantages that mean they are a necessary process to go through as well.

Anyone over the age of 40 ought to be considering selecting someone to act as an LPA for them in the event of them falling ill and being judged unable to make their own decisions.

Individuals who develop dementia may be among these, while those who go into a coma would also need someone to make financial, health and welfare decisions on their behalf.

When selecting someone to act as an LPA, it is important the person feels they are able to trust them completely, otherwise the arrangement may not prove to be useful.

That person will have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders in the event of them needing to step up, which means not everyone will be suitable to take such a role on.

Two types of LPA are available, with the first covering financial decisions and the second relating to welfare choices that may need to be made.

But handing over decision-making power to an LPA does not have to be a permanent decision, as it can be reversed in the future if the situation is suitable to do so.

Among the organisations that recommend LPAs are the Alzheimer's Society and Saga, while making a will might be a good idea to do at the same time as appointing a legal guardian.

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Published on: July 9, 2012

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