Don’t leave it too late

BAR­BARA POND, of Rogers and Nor­ton So­lic­i­tors, ex­plains why we should con­sider putting in place Last­ing Pow­ers of At­tor­ney

EDP Norfolk - - Law -

WE WILL all have read in our news­pa­pers and seen re­ported in the me­dia or on tele­vi­sion the fo­cus on de­men­tia as an is­sue fac­ing our so­ci­ety. There is a grow­ing aware­ness and change in pub­lic at­ti­tude, as we recog­nise the need to act and put in place the nec­es­sary sup­port within the com­mu­nity.

We may all reach a point in our lives, be it through old age, ill­ness or an ac­ci­dent, when we be­come in­ca­pable of mak­ing de­ci­sions for our­selves. It is im­por­tant to recog­nise the need to make ar­range­ments to man­age our fi­nances and per­sonal wel­fare be­fore we have lost ca­pac­ity, or no longer feel ca­pa­ble. It is, how­ever, some­thing that peo­ple tend to ig­nore, put off, or in some cases avoid, un­til it is too late.

Mak­ing a Last­ing Power of At­tor­ney (LPA) en­ables you to plan in ad­vance and choose who you would like and trust to make de­ci­sions on your be­half should you lose ca­pac­ity and be­come un­able to make de­ci­sions for your­self. There are two types of LPA: Prop­erty and Fi­nan­cial Af­fairs LPA cov­ers de­ci­sions which can in­clude sell­ing or chang­ing your house ac­cord­ing to your needs, pay­ing your bills, run­ning your bank/build­ing so­ci­ety ac­counts, and in­vest­ing your money. This type of LPA can be used while you still have men­tal ca­pac­ity.

Health and Wel­fare LPA cov­ers de­ci­sions about your health, wel­fare and fu­ture care if there comes a time when you are un­able to make these de­ci­sions for your­self. These can in­clude giv­ing or re­fus­ing con­sent to med­i­cal treat­ment, stay­ing in

“De­cid­ing to put LPAs in place now will make it eas­ier for your fam­ily and friends to look after your af­fairs and care in the fu­ture”

your own home, per­haps with help, or se­lect­ing the right care home for you, and per­sonal day to day is­sues such as diet, dress and daily rou­tine. This type of LPA can only be used when you have lost men­tal ca­pac­ity.

Both types of LPAs can also be used for tem­po­rary sit­u­a­tions such as dur­ing an ill­ness, a lengthy stay in hos­pi­tal or re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, when you may need help with man­ag­ing as­pects of your ev­ery­day life.

De­cid­ing to put LPAs in place now will make it eas­ier for your fam­ily and friends to look after your af­fairs and care in the fu­ture. If you do lose ca­pac­ity and have left mak­ing ar­range­ments for your fu­ture too late and have noth­ing in place, it will be more ex­pen­sive, time-con­sum­ing and dif­fi­cult to ap­ply through the Court of Pro­tec­tion to have a Deputy ap­pointed, who could be a stranger, or in­deed some­one you might not have cho­sen.

It is al­ways re­as­sur­ing and gives peace of mind to your fam­ily and those who care about you to know that you have LPAs in place and have made your wishes clear to the peo­ple you would most like, and trust, to make de­ci­sions on your be­half in the fu­ture.

Dur­ing Septem­ber, Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber we are demon­strat­ing our be­lief in the im­por­tance of hav­ing an LPA by of­fer­ing a 20% re­duc­tion in our charges and are also hold­ing a se­ries of free surg­eries in Oc­to­ber, should you wish to dis­cuss this fur­ther.

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