Talking to your parents about a Lasting Power of Attorney
Nobody likes to consider the fact that their parents might one day become unable to make health and financial decisions on their own. Due to a mental or physical illness, families very often end up caring for their elderly parents and therefore experience increased pressure, stress and emotions.
With the number of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents being created trebling in just five years, it is becoming an increasingly popular and secure way of enabling an elderly person to appoint someone whom they wish to have support from in making healthcare and financial choices.
We understand that plucking up the courage to speak to your parents about an LPA can be daunting, especially as older people tend to value their independence and see the creation of an LPA as the end of this.
When should I speak to my parents about a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Speaking to your parents sooner, rather than later, can make the process a whole lot easier for you both. Also, a Lasting Power of Attorney can only be made whilst the person has capacity to do so; this goes for young people too should they, for example, have a serious accident. With the amount of people suffering from Dementia due to double over the next 25 years, the importance being placed on LPAs is ever increasing.
If left until the person no longer has the mental capacity, families have no option but to go to court to obtain the powers contained within an LPA, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Should I involve my brothers and sisters?
Depending on your relationship and circumstances, you may want to bring the subject up with your siblings, or you might prefer to speak directly with your parents. However, it will be up to your parents as to who they appoint as the “attorneys”, as long as they are over 18 and are of mental capacity themselves.
When appointing an “attorney” it isn’t always best to appoint all of your children as it is a large responsibility, and can involve a lot of time and effort. It can become particularly difficult if the person you have appointed lives abroad and if you have multiple people trying to come to a decision.
It is important to note that Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be granted by the person it is for and not by the family.
From the 1st April 2017, the fees for applying to register Lasting Powers of Attorney reduced from £110 to £82, due to the high number of applications the Office of the Public Guardian was processing. Ministers hope that by reducing the fees, more people will be encouraged to take out LPAs.
Talking to your parents about a Lasting Power of Attorney doesn't need to be nerve-wracking. Whilst it might be difficult, you can ensure that by having an LPA you have the necessary steps in place should the unfortunate happen.
Talk to one of our experts about creating an LPA today.