An Ageing Population

Solicitor, Janet Stevenson talks about the importance of putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney in an ageing population. 

“With advances in medical treatment and facilities, most of us will be finding ourselves living far beyond our ‘three scores years and ten’ in today’s society.  Whilst this is indeed good news for most, we should also consider that with greater age expectancy comes greater challenges, not only for ourselves but those around us.  Putting In place Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) can give peace of mind to both ourselves and our loved ones.  At Terry Jones Solicitors we can help make this straight forward procedure that can save those around us a good deal of anxiety as we become older. 

Consider the situation where you may become incapable of making decisions for yourself, if an attorney has not been appointed, no one has the authority to assist you.  In order to do so an application to the Court of Protection to become a Deputy would have to be made.  This is a costly and cumbersome process involving ongoing annual fees and accounting to the Court.  Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you still have capacity would avoid this and importantly you make the choices.

There are two types of LPA, one deals with Property and Financial Affairs and one deals with Health and Welfare issues.  It is entirely your choice as to whether you wish to make one or other or both.  You can appoint several Attorneys or just one, and you can even include replacements to act should the need arise.

It is important to appoint Attorneys who you trust to help you, I find that clients generally appoint family members but this need not be the case.  An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs is flexible so that you can chose as to whether you only want your Attorneys to act only when you lose capacity, or as soon as it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.  You can also put into place specific instructions and preferences as to how you want your affairs dealt with. Under an LPA for Health and Welfare issues an Attorney can only act once capacity has been lost and authority regarding specific instructions involving life sustaining treatment can be given. 

The overriding factor in appointing an Attorney is that they must always act in your best interests.

At Terry Jones Solicitors, we are ready to assist you not only in putting Lasting Powers of Attorneys in place but also in a range of related areas including making Wills and administering estates. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your needs and the best way of achieving them.”

Janet is a Solicitor and a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)  and is based at the Newport office of Terry Jones Solicitors.

Janet has worked in a variety of disciplines throughout her career but has specialised in Wills, Probate and Lasting Powers of Attorney for almost 20 years.