LPA is short for “Lasting Power of Attorney”. They were actually intended for use by younger people, but in reality they have really become essential when looking after elderly parents.
The key point to realise is that there is no automatic right for your next of kin to take financial or health decisions on your behalf. Banks and healthcare providers now insist on powers of attorney being in place, but there is a challenge with explaining this to some who were perhaps able to care for their own parents without requiring a legal document to do so. Things have changed and anyone caring (or intending to care) for their parents in later life really must ensure that LPAs are in place.
It can feel like a difficult situation to raise with parents, but provided that this is approached sensitively and pragmatically it need not be upsetting. LPAs can be put in place only to be used a long time in the future, but there to be used as a safety net in case they are needed. Without having legal authority to make decisions for your parents, those decisions would instead be taken by the healthcare services or by the courts.
By sorting an LPA sooner rather than later it allows you to plan in advance what decisions your parent would want you to make. It can also greatly ease the pressure of challenging decisions in the future as the discussions had when putting it in place can provide guidance about what your parent would want you to do to support them. For information on LPAs see our further information here.
Sheltons Solicitors (part of ) Edward Hands & Lewis Solicitors are experienced in supporting families putting LPAs in place, and can help guide you through the process, including if you have any questions about who to appoint. We recognise that, whilst from a legal perspective they are essential documents, there can be a sensitivity about putting them in place. Please contact us if you are looking at LPAs for either yourself or a family member, and we would be happy to assist.Talk to our legal team
The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.