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- Published: Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:33
- Written by Administrator
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Few of us who have reached a certain age do not consider how we prefer our estate to be handled someday. To be clear, estate is a term that simply means whatever one owns, not necessarily an abundance of property, money or goods. Another consideration of growing older is the burden of who will handle our affairs and make decisions on our behalf if we become unable to do so. This comes down to who is best nominated to be the lasting power of attorney or LPA. This is a legal document designating who will care for your financial affairs and/or health and welfare. It might be a bit disconcerting to consider needing one, however, it is best to deal with while you are well and able to choose the trusted person(s).
The first type is one or two people you designate to oversee your financial and property matters in case the time comes you are no longer able to do so. The second type of LPA is appointing one or more persons to oversee your personal well being. If you are no longer in the state of mind to make decisions concerning living arrangements, medication or therapy, the LPA will make these decisions.
It is important to decide a person to be the representative before it becomes necessary. You have no reason to worry you will have to suddenly give up control of your life to another person. It will be your right how the LPA is designated. For example, you are in an accident and fall into a coma. The LPA would execute your affairs until you become well again, then you would resume handling things anew.
Other reasons to arrange LPA are:
If you lose the ability mentally for any reason without an LPA, your relatives would have to go through an expensive, time consuming process in court to gain control as a 'deputy' to care for you.
It is a very reasonable and swift procedure to nominate a trustworthy relative or friend as your LPA. Fill out an application and pay a one time fee of £110.
Your alternatives include assigning one or more people as LPA and you may designate how they will work together to make decisions for you.
Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to elect an LPA, and should handle it while he or she is well.
Mental health is not the same condition as capacity. A person can have a mental health condition such as, depression, bi-polar disorder or other illness that does not preclude him or her from making decisions.
Mental capacity is being sound of mind and able to make decisions on behalf of oneself. A stroke, dementia, brain injury or other illness could affect mental capacity.
When you appoint an LPA, a person who has known you for at least two years, your personal physician, attorney or another individual may speak for your soundness of mind. That individual is referred to as the 'certificate provider'.
More information is available on definition of terms and law at simplewills.net concerning with whom to speak to about an LPA. Answers on whether or not to hire a solicitor and how to assist someone who needs collaboration but not necessarily an LPA, as well as sound advice on all subjects pertaining to life issues can be found at simplewills.net.