Why Your Parents Need a Lasting Power of Attorney
The short answer to why your parents should put a lasting power of attorney in place is: peace of mind. Peace of mind for you and peace of mind for them. An LPA brings reassurance that someone they trust, you for example, can take charge of their affairs should they become unable to. So, if you hold the position of adult offspring and your parents haven’t yet got an LPA set up then you need to talk to them. And the sooner the better. Because one never knows does one?! One didn’t ever know in the before Covid times – so one definitely never knows now.
What is a Power of Attorney and what does it do?
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows your parents to appoint people – their attorneys – to act on their behalf. They will need such a thing in place should they become incapable of managing their own affairs. That’s for either physical or mental reasons.
What else do my parents need to know?
It’s important that your parents understand that there are two types of LPA and what they are.
- The first kind of LPA would deal with your parent’s financial affairs and property.
- And the second kind would deal with their health and welfare.
These are the two main kinds of LPAs. You can find out more about each of them here.
Two reasons why your parents should get their LPA sorted
- For financial affairs
As briefly as I can express it, a financial LPA allows your parents attorneys to buy and sell their property. It also allows the attorney to withdraw money and pay bills. Hence, if your parents want you to be responsible for their property and fiscal affairs in the event of any incapacitation occurring, it’s vital they sort an LPA out while they can.
- Health and welfare
This LPA gives you the power to look after everything concerning your parent’s health and welfare if/when the time comes that they can’t do it themselves.
How should my parents select their attorneys and how many can they have?
Anyone that your parents choose to act as their attorneys must be over eighteen years old. Further, and this is of utmost importance, they must have total trust in the person/s they want to represent them. After all, they’re going to be charged with making important decisions about your parents’ health and finances. The attorneys will also have access to your parents’ money.
Supposing your parents want you to be an attorney for them, you should encourage them to get in place a second or replacement attorney. It’s quite feasible that there arises a situation where your parents need an attorney but you’re not available for some reason. In such an eventuality, the other attorney can step into the breach. I advise you to help your mum select someone with whom you have a good relationship. Otherwise it could get difficult to reach decisions on a plan of action.
Your parents shouldn’t select more than four attorneys for practical reasons. At least not unless there’s some specific reason why they should.
HOW CAN MY PARENTS PUT A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY IN PLACE?
They can seek professional advice from someone like me and have the LPA completed and registered and they can contact me here. You have to get LPAs registered before you can use them.
HOW LONG DOES IT ALL TAKE?
As a rule, so long as I’ve got all the information to hand, I can complete the forms within a couple of days.
You need to get the LPA signed by the person/s making them (the Donor) – that’ll be your parents, all the attorneys and a certificate provider. That’s someone who signs to say that you and your parents understand what’s happening and that no-one has forced them into making an LPA.
The bit that takes time is the registration process. The law requires that all LPAs are registered before use. Registration takes about five months. It’s always best to register the LPAs at once. Then, when your parents need their attorney/s to use it, they can.
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ATTORNEY DIES OR LOSES CAPACITY THEMSELVES?
If your parents appointed more than one attorney ‘jointly and severally’ and one of them dies or loses capacity, the others can carry on acting on her behalf.
CAN MY PARENTS CHANGE THEIR MINDS ABOUT WHO THEY’VE APPOINTED AS THEIR ATTORNEYS?
Yes. But it’s not simple to do. They’d have to revoke or cancel the original LPA and then make a whole new one. This is expensive and time consuming so it’s best to make an LPA with a view to it standing the test of time.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
They can see how much I charge here for drafting LPAs.
HOW CAN MY PARENTS GET MORE INFORMATION?
They can always call me on 07538946839 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m more than happy to give them some initial advice and help them decide whether they should have an LPA.
Also, the Office of the Public Guardian explains LPAs in great detail and is user friendly.