Why You Might Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney

Why You Might Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney

Posted by Rachel Bashford

Why You Might Need A Lasting Power of Attorney

How Can I Look After My Future With An LPA?

Thinking about the future can cause feelings of anxiety. This guide gives you information about how to prepare and plan for you and your family’s future with LPAs. Plus, it advises you how to find out if you’re eligible for NHS continuing healthcare payments.

Why signing a Lastin Power of Attorney might be a good idea

This guide will give you information on:

  • What Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents are and how to apply for them
  • Why LPAs can be really beneficial for you and your loved ones
  • What the government is proposing to change with LPAs
  • How to apply for NHS continuing healthcare

At first, the thought of giving someone else access to your finances and the ability to make decisions about your healthcare may sound a little concerning.

Lasting powers of attorney don’t give your attorneys (the trusted people you choose to make decisions with and for you if your circumstances alter) free rein over your life and your money.

Rather, they are in place as a sort of insurance policy. They can be made active when you feel you need support, or if you become unable to make the best decisions about your care.

Finding out all about lasting powers of attorney now, researching the options and making informed, appropriate decisions that will secure your future are positive, proactive steps to take. It means that you gain peace of mind and a calm confidence that your future is safe and secure, whatever happens.

So, what are LPAs and how do you go about putting them in place, choosing attorneys and getting the documents organised?

Autumna’s trusted partners, Parfitt Cresswell, are experts at navigating through legal red tape and putting in place complete lasting power of attorney documents to ensure that your future is safe.

Why You Might Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney

What Is An LPA Or Lasting Power Of Attorney?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that allows you (the donor) to appoint one or more people (attorneys) to act on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions about your welfare at a later point.

Although this sounds a bit strange at first, it means that people you love and trust can help you make the right choices or take these on your behalf if you need that support. Gov.uk explains the process in more detail for England and Wales. There are different rules for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You will be more in control if you need support with an LPA in place, as you know your loved ones, that you have chosen, will make the best decisions for you. This quick video from Autumna outlines what an LPA is and why you could need one.

What Are The Benefits?

  • If you have an accident or illness that affects your mental capacity, your attorneys will provide you with the best care possible according to your wishes.
  • If you lose mental capacity without an LPA, the court of protection will have to take decisions about your care, perhaps not involving your wishes.
  • Your attorneys are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and can help you even if you are still able to make your own decisions but are finding things hard.
  • You can appoint more than one trusted person to be your attorneys, so that there is some safeguarding to ensure the choices made about your life are the best ones available.
  • There are safeguards within an LPA which mean that your attorneys cannot do what they want with your health and finances. Attorneys can be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian if they are not caring for you properly. You can remove an attorney if they are not fulfilling your wishes at any time.
  • If you need help in the future, loved ones may not be able to make decisions regarding your medical care unless they are your attorneys in accordance with an LPA. You might not need their help, but if you do, then this safeguard would be in place with an LPA.

On their website, Parfitt Cresswell explore the powers your attorneys can have for each type of LPA (financial, health and welfare) to help you understand the attorney role more clearly.

If you want to know more about choosing your attorneys and further information on the application process, watch this video from the Office of the Public Guardian.

There are two main types of LPA for England and Wales, according to Gov.uk

Health and Welfare lasting power of attorney details.

In this video, Teresa Payne from Parfitt Cresswell explains the two different LPAs.

What Happens If You Don’t Have An LPA?

We never know what life will throw at us. Events can occur that make life more difficult if you haven’t planned for them. It’s fair to say that not everyone wants to plan out their future in detail, but making key decisions now could save a whole world of time and effort later.

If your loved ones are not named on your bank, savings and pension accounts, they cannot access this capital to help look after you. You may need urgent care or bills paying and they won’t be able to talk to banks and other financial institutions on your behalf without being an attorney on your financial LPA.

This BBC video and Radio 4 episode of Money Box explain what happened to one family due to an unfortunate and unexpected accident. It shows why LPAs can make things easier when life takes a different turn.

Even with a will, if you are incapacitated in some way, then your loved ones cannot help manage your finances. They will only be able to do this properly and in your best interests with a financial LPA.

There are costs involved in setting up LPAs, registering attorneys and documentation. You can find out more about these costs from Gov.uk. Currently, it costs around £80 for an LPA application.

What Changes To LPAs Are The Government Proposing?

There have been growing concerns that the process for accessing LPAs is too lengthy and complicated. The government has announced plans looking into the best ways to overhaul the system. They propose to improve the registering of LPAs and increase safeguarding for donors.

The BBC has reported that ministers want to:

  • Simplify and speed up the system by making it predominantly digital
  • Use technology to make the system easier to use
  • Create a fast-track for families who need to set up an LPA quickly due to a sudden change in a relative’s health or wellbeing.

A more traditional process will run alongside, so that people without access to the internet can still apply.

Nick Goodwin, Public Guardian for England and Wales, said the proposals would make the service “fit for the modern world.”

There is now a 3-month consultation process underway, with government stating that they will produce a proposal to improve LPAs after this consultation is complete.

What Is NHS Continuing Healthcare And Are You Eligible?

NHS continuing healthcare is for some adults with long-term complex care needs. The NHS will assess if you or a loved one require care provided for them and funded by the NHS.

To qualify for this service, a team of healthcare professionals will assess your needs to discover:

  • What your health needs are
  • How complex and intense your needs are
  • How unpredictable your needs are and what risks there are to your health as a result.

The process looks at your actual needs, not any diagnosis or condition you may have. The NHS says it will take your views and those of loved ones into account in their assessment.

This NHS video can help you understand the system and how to apply for care seekers and their families.

If you don’t prove to be eligible, the NHS may refer you to your local council to see if they can support your needs. The NHS may be able to fund part of your care if their team judges you to be suitable for this ‘joint package’ support.

To start the process, you will need to fill in an NHS continuing healthcare checklist to provide all essential information the NHS requires so that they can begin your assessment.

There have been some adjustments to NHS continuing healthcare due to the pandemic. These may impact your situation or that of a loved one.

It could affect people who leave hospital and need new care provisions to be made for them. The NHS encourages people who need this service to contact them to make sure their case is fully researched and that the correct care judgements are made for individuals.

If you are confused by the process of applying for NHS continuing healthcare, then it may be worth speaking to Farley Dwek Solicitors.

Alternatively, you might find this Care To Be Differentebook How to Get The NHS to Pay for Carewell worth a read.

Farley Dwek: how to get the NHS to pay for care.

Useful pointers are included, such as creating a full medical history for the person requiring support and requesting all relevant medical documents that are necessary in completing the application.

An important point to note is that if your first attempt at securing funding and care is unsuccessful, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is the final port of call to have your complaint heard. Try local NHS complaint services first, making sure you have all the documentation you need and move to the ombudsman if you need a final judgement.

In truth, you may not be successful in gaining what you want the first time around, so trying again with all the correct information may result in a more preferred outcome.

Contact Autumna For Support

If you are concerned about how you will organise your future or need advice about financial issues, then Autumna are a team of expert professionals who are trained to help you and your loved ones find the right care solutions.

Autumna can connect you with a range of professional and care services to make sure you can get the right support at the right time to suit your individual needs.

Remember, you’re more than welcome to get in touch with the Autumna team if you’re looking for support yourself or for an elderly family member.

Whether you need care, legal, or financial advice for later life, we’re here to help.

You can contact us by either phone or email. The details are below:

Phone: 01892 335 330

The line is open Monday to Sunday (8:30am - 5:30pm Mon-Fri, 10am - 5pm Sat, 10am - 4pm Sun).

Email: info@autumna.co.uk

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