Plan for the Future
Our Head of Private Client, Elaine Lightfoot, continues to receive numerous instructions from clients wishing to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney or to update existing arrangements. Here she explains the benefits.
For many clients, drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney is their first experience of any sort of power of attorney. However, recently, I have found many instructions received are from clients who entered into Enduring Powers of Attorney pre 2007 but now find such documents fall short of their requirements.
Whilst there is not always the necessity to update the power of attorney from the old style EPA, many clients wish to update their instructions in respect of their chosen attorneys to often add a larger group of chosen attorneys or are attracted by the flexibility of the Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, including the ability to include preferences and instructions relating to, for example, management of discretionary investments following the loss of capacity.
I have also seen an increase in clients wishing to draw up LPAs for Health and Welfare matters with a greater awareness of the difficult decisions families and loved ones may face in the future if the donor is unable to make such choices. People often have firm views on aspects such as life-sustaining treatment and for them, understandably, it is important to have a legal document drawn up appointing the correct people to make such choices if the need arises in the future. Many such instructions come from GP and care home referrals where medical/care staff are well versed in the advantages of clients having such LPAs in place.
The process itself is straightforward but clients benefit from being able to discuss the options available to them in detail with me and the team. We can give guidance on how such LPAs work in practice to ensure that any misconceptions are nipped in the bud.
LPAs can be drawn up at relatively little cost when compared with the alternative of a Court of Protection application if a person no longer has capacity and is therefore unable to enter into an LPA.