People making a will urged to include a Lasting Power of Attorney
People making or renewing their will are being urged to consider arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) at the same time to protect their interests into the future.
It follows research carried out by the Law Society, which showed there had been an increase in the number of people drawing up a new will during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Law Society president David Greene said this was because the pandemic has made people reflect on how vital it is to make sure their loved ones are taken care of if they were to die.
The move is to be welcomed but making a will is not the only way to put your affairs in order; LPAs can also help reduce potential problems for your family in the future.
The property and finance LPA allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs, and the personal welfare LPA lets you grant an attorney authority over such matters as health care and the kind of treatment you receive.
Both kinds of LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which administers the system.
Mr Greene said: “When writing a will, people should also consider making end of life provisions – which determine how they want to be treated medically at the end of their life – and lasting powers of attorney – which grants a trusted friend or family member the right to make financial and welfare decisions on their behalf if they lose mental capacity or become seriously unwell.
“68% of those surveyed did not make lasting powers of attorney or end of life provisions. Many do not know that lasting powers of attorney or end of life provisions can only be made whilst they are deemed to have mental capacity.
“Making these arrangements alongside their will ensures people are able to make these important decisions for themselves – giving them peace of mind during the pandemic and going forwards.”
LPAs are often used by older people to choose someone they know and trust to make decisions for them if they lose capacity in the future - but can be used by anyone at any age.
The number of registered LPAs has increased enormously in recent years to more than 4 million.
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