It is estimated only around a third of the adult population have a Will – and even less have made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to deal with important lifetime decisions, say Buckles Solicitors LLP.
However, while LPAs are normally considered something reserved for older people or those affected by ill health in later life, Buckles say the younger generation should act now to protect their long-term finances and assets.
An LPA is a legal document in which the person making it chooses someone they trust (the Attorney) to make decisions on their behalf.
LPAs can be made for financial decisions (Property & Financial Affairs) and / or medical and care decisions (Health & Welfare).
Buckles Solicitors LLP partner and head of private client, Stephen Duffy, emphasised the importance LPAs in relation to younger generation, as well as older people.
He said: “It can be invaluable if someone is involved in an accident which leaves them incapable of managing their affairs, or for young professionals who are travelling or working out of the country for long periods and unable to manage their affairs directly.
“Legally overseen LPAs are a way of ensuring you get your affairs in order, whatever your age. Without a registered LPA, where someone has become mentally incapable, their financial and personal affairs must be managed by a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection.
“This is a slow and expensive business for most families, as relatives may be forced to get permission from the Court for each transaction made, and could result in legal and Court fees throughout the process.”
Stephen added: “We cannot stress enough the importance of having a Will and LPA created by a solicitor. When people are fit and healthy they often don’t want to think about writing a Will or making an LPA and what will happen on death or incapacity.
“However, making a Will and LPA is the perfect opportunity to get something in place for when it is needed. It will give peace of mind to you and your loved ones.”
The Private Client department of Buckles advises on and prepares LPAs, and also offers a free legal documents review service to help ensure that any LPAs that are in place are valid and practical.