Why LPAs are wonderful things

 

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When a person loses the capacity to manage their own property or affairs or make decisions about their health and welfare – permanently or temporarily – if they have settled a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) then they will have appointed other people to make these decisions for them during this time. This will make this time and the decisions associated with it function smoothly and quickly for all concerned.

Alzheimer’s

Imagine you have two elderly parents, both of whom are still living in their own home. Mum has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. Dad is her full-time carer. She can’t be left alone and sometimes what Mum says needs clarification from someone who knows her. He has Lasting Power of Attorney for her. Both parents are still mobile. Dad stills drives. They enjoy frequent trips out, often to a garden centre.

Stroke

One evening, during a phone call, their daughter became concerned that Dad wasn’t making sense.  She went quickly to the house to see what was happening. When she saw Dad, she suspected he was having a stroke and did the Stroke Test (Face, Arms, Speech, Time). Concerned that he had symptoms, she knew she had to get him to A & E.  She drove him there in her car, having to take Mum with them too.

She arrived in A&E with her two elderly parents, both of whom were confused and unable to communicate properly. Dad had lost mental capacity.  They were fast tracked through triage because of the suspected stroke. A doctor arrived to carry out the assessment on Dad and the daughter introduced them. She explained that Mum has Alzheimer’s, and she thought Dad may have had a stroke.

Understanding Lasting Power of Attorney

The next words the daughter said to the doctor were: “I have full LPAs for both of them.”  Understanding what this meant, the doctor knew that the daughter could act on Dad’s behalf, the clinicians could share information with her, and she could make decisions for him. The daughter could be fully engaged with treatment decisions, would have a good idea of what his wishes would be, and had a good idea of his medical history.  This took the stress out of what could have been a very distressing situation all round.

Because Dad had lost capacity, the daughter took over the role of Attorney for Mum as well at the same time.

Dad made a full recovery and returned home a week later.  He regained his capacity as he recovered. The daughter doesn’t need to make decisions for him anymore: he can make them himself now. He can also now make decisions for Mum and take over the role of her Attorney again.

How to make an LPA when you have capacity

You have to make an LPA when you have capacity.  You tell your solicitor who you wish to appoint to made decisions on your behalf, in the event that you can’t make them. This can be family members or friends or professionals. Then, if you lose capacity, they can take over on your behalf.

Once an LPA has been set up it is registered at Court and you can rely on your wishes being met and your interests being protected because of it.

LPAs are also versatile. If your relationships change then you can change the people you want to appoint. You contact your solicitor to do this for you.

An LPA automatically provides certainty for whatever the future holds and gives you and your family and friends total peace of mind.

 

Here at Price Slater Gawne we have an expert team able to advise you on all matters relating to LPAs. If you, or a family member, are affected by any of the issues outlined here, please do not delay but get in touch as soon as possible: we are here to help you.