You might think that you’re too young or too healthy to worry about a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – in reality, just about everybody can benefit from putting this useful legal document in place. If you leave it too long then you risk the possibility of leaving it too late entirely. Better, then, to have it ready just in case.
Needing an LPA is often associated with dementia. In reality, there are a range of different circumstances which could make having an LPA particularly helpful. For instance a stroke, a heart attack, cancer or even a particularly bad car accident could all mean you have to rely on others to make important decisions for you.
Unlike dementia, which is typically associated with ageing, many of these illnesses can strike at any age – and you can’t predict when a bad accident might occur. This means that it’s vital to remember that mental deterioration can happen at any age and for a huge range of reasons.
Brain injuries are more common than you might think: according to the Government’s website, somebody in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds. This still makes up for a very small percentage of the population, so it’s not meant to panic you! However it does show that what may seem like a ‘once in a blue moon’ occurrence is not completely impossible. Once again, it’s safest to be prepared.
An LPA doesn’t mean signing away your autonomy to another person. Instead, it’s designed to give you control over your life so that, even if you become unwilling or unable to make decisions for yourself, your wishes can be honoured. Your attorneys should involve you as much as possible in any decisions that they make. They’ll also have to follow instructions about the type of decisions that you’d like them to make on your behalf: if there are certain choices that you’d rather not include, that’s up to you.
As you can see, an LPA is something that you should think about sooner rather than later. Follow this link to read more information about the two different types of LPA, how to set them up and exactly what each one involves on this page.
You can learn more about setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney from one of Key's estate planners; they'll explain the process in more depth and give you all the information you need.Speak to an estate planner