Does this scenario sound familiar?
Your parents own and live in their own property, they have savings in the bank and investments looked after by their trusted financial adviser that they have known for years. Recently you have noticed that they are not quite as sharp as they used to be.
You may begin to worry about what will happen when they start to really need your help with paying bills, paying for the shopping, organising basic care and companionship and later on if they become unable to manage their finances and/or live independently.
I understand this can be a worrying time and can keep you awake at night.
This is the time to talk about lasting powers of attorney. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document enabling one person to make decisions on behalf of another. There are two types of LPA: one dealing with property and finances and another which deals with health and care decisions. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney is the cheapest and most convenient way to give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
You can start the ball rolling by finding out who your parent(s) want to be their attorney. Often families will discuss this to make sure everyone involved is prepared and happy to be an attorney if the LPA ever needs to come into effect.
Once you’ve agreed this you can then contact a solicitor, like me to put the Lasting Power of Attorney in place. I am happy to visit your parents to talk about making a power of attorney and can answer all your questions. I will outline who can act as an attorney, what will happen if an attorney cannot continue in that role and how many attorneys you can/ought to appoint.
There is a specific correct order in which the lasting powers of attorney are to be signed and I arrange for all of this to be completed properly so there are no hiccoughs in the future.
I know how confusing this can all sound and always ensure clients receive advice about how lasting powers of attorney work and what attorneys can and can’t do when acting as an attorney.
The most important thing to ensure when making an LPA is that your parents do not need to feel as though they are giving up control of their affairs. I look after the lasting powers of attorney for them and will only release them when they want me to release them.