Over 2.5 million people (including the young and elderly) in the UK lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves due to dementia, mental health difficulties, brain injuries or other illnesses. With an ageing population the numbers continue to increase.
If you haven’t appointed a power of attorney specifying who can look after your affairs and you lose mental capacity then, the Court of Protection and Social Services will become involved, this involvement is costly, unpleasant and timely.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are the only legal documents that enable you to appoint a person or people of your choice to look after your affairs. There are two documents.
Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs
Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare
Who would you prefer to make the following decisions?
- Where you live and who can visit you
- The type of care you receive
- Giving or refusing consent to health care and medical treatment
- Giving or refusing consent to Life-sustaining treatment
- What you eat, what you wear and your daily routine
- Maintaining or selling your property
- Your financial affairs and how your money is spent
- Running your bank and savings accounts
- Making or selling investments
- Input into your care and treatment towards the end of your life.
It is important to understand that your closest relatives are not automatically entitled to make decisions listed above for you without having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place. So which do you prefer? The people of your choice or The Court of Protection and Social Services?
Please note: Your Lasting Power of Attorney documents can only be used once they have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (part of the Ministry of Justice).