Financial expert Martin Lewis has emphasised the significance of a Lasting Power of Attorney in a recent interview for ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show Live.
The founder of moneysavingexpert.com highlighted the crucial role a Lasting Power of Attorney plays in ensuring that financial affairs are managed effectively in situations where an individual loses the capacity to do so themselves.
Understanding Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants someone of your choosing (the ‘Attorney’) the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself.
Unlike a Will, which primarily deals with the distribution of assets after death, a Lasting Power of Attorney comes into play while you are still alive, but incapable of managing your financial affairs due to factors like accidents, stroke, or early-onset dementia.
Contrary to common misconceptions, creating a Lasting Power of Attorney does not mean relinquishing control over your finances immediately.
It is a proactive measure that ensures someone you trust can step in and act on your behalf if the need arises.
Martin Lewis emphasises that this is not exclusive to the elderly; unexpected events can impact anyone at any age.
The Cost of Delay
Lewis stresses the potential complications that can arise without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. He shares a personal account from Alex, who faced a challenging situation when his wife suffered a severe brain injury at the age of 33. Alex said: “We had no Wills and no lasting Enduring Power of Attorney. I had to go to the Court of Protection with the help of a very expensive solicitor and take deputyship. It is a nightmare. Costs a lot of money. I wish we had done this before it was too late.”
You can make a Lasting Power of Attorney yourself via gov.uk if your situation is uncomplicated.
However, for more complex scenarios, and to avoid any costly errors, it is advisable to get the help of a legal professional to ensure all aspects are adequately covered.
Considering the potential waiting times for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) applications, it is crucial to act promptly.
The Office of the Public Guardian, which handles the processing of these documents, has indicated that it could take as long as 20 weeks for Lasting Power of Attorney applications to be completed.
A Quick Guide to Making a Lasting Power of Attorney
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, each of which need to be created separately.
- Property & Financial Affairs LPA – Covers house and financial matters, including bank accounts, bills, pensions, benefits, and home sales.
- Health & Welfare LPA – Addresses daily care, medical decisions, and choices related to moving to a care home.
Appointing an Attorney
You can appoint more than one attorney. Attorneys need to:
- Be over 18
- Capable of making their own decisions
- Not be bankrupt
- Not be the subject of a debt relief order
- Be free to work from anywhere in the world
Find out more about how to choose your attorney.
Updating your Lasting Power of Attorney
Don’t forget to update your Lasting Power of Attorney if any names or addresses change.
In conclusion, Martin Lewis’s advocacy for prioritising a Power of Attorney underscores the importance of proactive financial planning. Don’t wait until it’s too late; take control of your financial future today.
Would you like to learn more about Lasting Power of Attorneys, or put one in place? Our team has extensive experience helping clients with planning for the future and ensuring family protection.
Call us on 0117 952 0698 to talk to an expert, or submit a free online enquiry, and a member of our team will get in touch with you.