Do not delay making a lasting power of attorney
8 February 2015
The government is so concerned about the number of people who have not planned for their later years, that it has announced it will be holding a ‘life planning day’ in 2015.
This is intended to promote awareness about making a will and appointing someone you trust with a lasting power of attorney to manage your property, financial affairs, health and welfare if you are unable to. Choosing your attorney while you are of sound mind puts you in control of who will act on your behalf when the time comes.
While making a will can be straightforward and done quite quickly, the process of appointing an attorney is more complicated and time consuming. A lasting power of attorney cannot be used until registered and there are no shortcuts to speed up the registration process.
With this in mind, it is a good idea to prepare your lasting power of attorney now, before the government’s campaign begins.
The Office of the Public Guardian, the organisation who registers and oversees lasting powers of attorney, is already very busy. It currently receives 2,000 registration applications per day, with the average registration application taking
14 weeks to complete. The number of people preparing and registering lasting powers of attorney is set to increase in the next few years, as will the likely time delays.
We see many people in a distressing situation where they are unable to make important decisions on behalf of their loved ones and have no alternative but to make an emergency application to the Court of Protection. This can be costly and take a long time, leaving loved ones vulnerable in the meanwhile.
It is a good idea to put your affairs in order now, ahead of the rush. Make time today to get your lasting power of attorney by getting the advice of a wills and probate specialist.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.