So, by now the family have not only had a heartfelt chat about death and arranging Wills but are now sometime into a rather deep discussion about what happens if either Mum or Dad lose their ability to make decisions for themselves.
As with a lot of kids, the usual comment is “Well of course nothing like that is ever going to happen to you Mum. But if it does, you’re not to worry, we’ll just sort out the Bank and your Savings for you!”
Now you’ll probably see a common trait trending in my blogs which allude to the theory of “If only it was that simple”.
Firstly, according to the SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) there are approximately Two Million people in the UK that lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves – I’ll say that again TWO MILLION!
Secondly, if someone you love and care for does lose their Mental Capacity, then it doesn’t matter how close you are to them, no financial institution will allow you anywhere near their Savings or Investments or Loans etc. unless you have a joint account with them.
Similarly, if they must go into hospital or have any form of medical care you won’t have any say on their treatment on that score either!
The Answer is Simple!
The answer (as with a lot of what I’m writing about of late) is actually quite simple, if you speak to someone who can actually help and guide you, someone like me.
The most effective thing to do is to draw up what is called a Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) for your loved one BEFORE they lose capacity.
You can set one up to cover their Finances, and one to cover their Health and Welfare. In it they name specifically who they want to look after their affairs (this person is called the Attorney).
I can help you with this, of course after speaking to the person it’s being set up for, or the “Donor”.
I facilitate the completion of the forms and paperwork, and ensure that you sign all the forms correctly, confirm that the Donor understands what’s happening, and then submit it to the specific Government Department that deals with LPA’s, called the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
Once they’ve registered the LPA it’s ready to be used whenever necessary and you can relax! It’s there, safe and ready and waiting. And no, it doesn’t ever run out of date.
A word of warning though, if you try to do this after someone loses capacity it’s a much more difficult process:
As not only do you have to convince the OPG that the Donor wanted you as their Attorney.
But you must keep incredibly detailed records of everything you do, produce a yearly report to show what you’ve done and pay a yearly fee!
So now, back to our Family who are gradually learning more about Death and Disability than they had ever anticipated, over that dining table!
The kids are now going to speak to someone (hopefully me) about setting up LPA’s for Mum and Dad. And Mum and Dad are now thinking about doing the same thing for their elderly parents because it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I can genuinely help you out. I’ll deal with it quickly and effectively. And with a cost that won’t make you lose your own Mental Capacity!
Till next month stay safe dear readers.
And a belated Happy New Year!