Busting the Myths Around LPA’s

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An LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) is a legal document that allows a person (the donor) to appoint one or more individuals (attorneys) to make decisions on their behalf in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves. While LPAs are widely recognised and used, there are some myths or misconceptions associated with them.

The team at Swansea Legal Solutions are busting the myths around LPA’s with the following facts:

Myths Around LPA’s

·        #Myth 1: LPAs are only for the elderly: It is a common misconception that LPAs are only relevant for older individuals. However, anyone over the age of 18 can create an LPA, as unexpected events or illnesses can affect anyone’s ability to make decisions at any age.

·        # Myth 2: Creating an LPA means giving up control: Some people believe that by creating an LPA, they are immediately surrendering control over their affairs. However, this is not true. The donor retains control and decision-making power as long as they are capable of making decisions. The appointed attorneys only step in if and when the donor becomes unable to make decisions themselves.

·        #Myth 3: Family members automatically have legal authority: There is a misconception that close family members automatically have the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity. In reality, without an LPA or a court order, family members do not have the legal authority to make decisions on someone else’s behalf.

·        #Myth 4: Attorneys can do whatever they want: Another myth is that once appointed, attorneys have unlimited power to do whatever they please. However, attorneys have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the donor, follow the instructions outlined in the LPA, and comply with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

·        #Myth 5: LPAs are only for financial matters: While LPAs do cover financial decisions, there are two types of LPA. One covers property and financial affairs, while the other covers health and welfare decisions. The latter allows attorneys to make decisions about medical treatment, care arrangements, and other personal matters.

Who Should Have an LPA in Place

While the decision to create an LPA ultimately depends on individual circumstances and preferences, there are certain situations where having an LPA in place can be particularly beneficial. Here are some examples of individuals who may consider creating an LPA:

·        Older Adults: As people age, there is a higher likelihood of facing health issues or a decline in mental capacity. Creating an LPA allows older adults to appoint trusted individuals to manage their affairs and make decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do so.

·        Individuals with Chronic Illnesses: People living with chronic illnesses, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other conditions that may affect decision-making abilities, can benefit from having an LPA. It ensures that their chosen attorneys can make decisions aligned with their wishes and best interests.

·        Individuals Planning for the Future: Creating an LPA can be part of proactive financial and estate planning. It allows individuals to plan for unforeseen circumstances and ensure that their affairs are managed according to their preferences.

·        Individuals with Disabilities: Those with physical or mental disabilities may choose to create an LPA to ensure they have designated individuals to act on their behalf and make decisions that support their well-being and quality of life.

·        Business Owners: Business owners may create an LPA to designate attorneys who can make important decisions regarding their business operations, finances, and contracts in case they become incapacitated.

·        Individuals Traveling or Residing Abroad: If someone is frequently traveling or living abroad for an extended period, they may consider creating an LPA to have someone manage their affairs in the UK while they are away.

It’s worth noting that while LPAs can be valuable in various situations, it is ultimately a personal decision. Consulting with a legal professional, like the team at Swansea Legal Solutions, can provide tailored advice based on individual circumstances and preferences.

Call us today on 01792 420844 to book an appointment or you can read more about our services here.

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