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Forward Planning – How to Secure Lasting Power of Attorney

There are certain legal essentials that have to be considered as we get older. It is important to understand what they are and to be aware of your options and how to put the essentials in place whilst being of sound mind to do so. These include a Will, any cover for legal essentials and a Lasting Power of Attorney.

The Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which enables someone to be appointed to make decisions your behalf, or on behalf of an elderly parent. If this is in place it means that a decision maker can be used if a person becomes unable to make their own decisions. There are two types of documents that can be made, these relate to Health and Welfare or Property and Financial Affairs.

The Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney means that a person can make decisions about important items such as: medical treatment, moving into a care home, the person’s daily routines such as clothing and eating, and the power of resuscitation.

For Property and Financial Affairs, this will enable an appointed person to make decisions related to paying bills, selling property and collecting benefits. For further advice and for sources of information companies such as Saga offer legal essentials and The Office of Public Guardian offer advice and information.

To create a Lasting Power of Attorney it must be put into writing. The first step is to decide who you want to be your Lasting Power of Attorney, and it can be more than one person. Fill in the relevant forms which can easily be found online and then register the forms for them to be valid. If these legal essentials aren’t filled out before death it can be a lengthy and costly battle for someone else to attempt to make arrangements.

Taking control of these legal essentials whilst still of sound mind will put you firmly in control of your affairs. There is the option, if you so wish, to keep authority over your affairs until incapacitated, in which event it will be handed to the appointed attorney. You also have the choice to hand your affairs directly over. Setting up these legal essentials, such as a Will or Legal Power of Attorney will ensure control of your assets and avoid any lengthy legal battles for your loved ones.

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