It has recently been reported that Lasting Power of Attorney documents have increased in popularity by 30% between April and June this year, when compared to the same period last year.

Lasting Powers of Attorney documents are extremely important – they allow someone to appoint trusted members of the family or friends to manage their finances, or make decisions about their healthcare, should they be unable to make decisions for themselves.

Typically, people find themselves unable to make decisions for themselves because of worsening mental capacity issues, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or because of older age frailty.

However, LPAs, as they are more commonly known, are also vital for anyone of any age – giving someone legal permission in advance to step in and take over if a person became suddenly ill, or suffered a serious accident, is sensible forward planning.

Although the Office of the Public Guardian has developed online application tools, to encourage the public to complete and register their LPAs electronically, nevertheless, it’s often argued this route is open to fraud, especially where the applicant may be vulnerable. What if that old or vulnerable person was being forced to hand over legal authority for their finances to someone they ordinarily would not want to give authority to?

Hard copy LPAs, requiring the signature of the person writing the LPA, and managed by a competent professional, is a far better route to ensuring that the persons’ wishes are recorded accurately and importantly taken in private, away from any undue duress.

Has this sparked your interest? Contact Phoenix Wills & Probate if you want to discuss how LPAs can help you. office@phoenixwillsandprobate.co.uk

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