Start 2019 with your Finances in Order

If you’re looking at getting your finances in order this New Year it is important to consider making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) – these are legal documents that allow you to nominate people you trust to make decisions for you, should you ever become mentally incapable in the future.

Whilst you hope to always be able to manage your own affairs, LPAs are invaluable if needed, and (like any insurance) having them means you are protected if the worst should happen.

There are two types of LPA to consider:-

  • One to cover property and finances
  • One to cover health and care issues

What happens if I don’t make LPAs?

Nobody (even family) has legal authority to help make important decisions regarding your money or care.

Your financial affairs cannot be properly dealt with – access to bank accounts may be restricted and property cannot be sold.  It is quite likely that organisations such as banks will refuse to discuss issues with your spouse, partner or children until they obtain proper legal authority (and in the absence of a LPA this would be a Court Order).

The wishes of your loved ones as to where you should live or what type of medical care you receive may not be followed.

Incapacity can affect any of us at any age – through accident or illness – so this is not an issue which only affects older generations. Having LPAs in place means you are prepared for any eventuality.

Another benefit is that, even if capacity never becomes an issue, you might just simply start to lack confidence or lose interest in dealing with your affairs.  Physical disabilities may prevent you from getting out to the bank or post office to pay bills, or you may find new technologies intimidating.  Appointing attorneys allows the people you trust to start helping you with your financial affairs as soon as necessary.

People are living longer too which means that age related difficulties could see many of us needing help to make decision in the future.

If you don’t make LPAs and you lose capacity your loved ones will have to make an application to the Court of Protection for an order to allow them to deal with your affairs.  This can be very lengthy and expensive process, not to mention stressful.

Before making LPAs it is always a good idea to seek proper legal advice, to ensure that you have all the relevant information to enable you to tailor your documents to your specific needs and wishes.

For further advice on LPAs please contact Joanne Jones, Head of Private Client on 0161 785 3500

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers LLP or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.