Most of us have heard of Wills and see the value of them (even if we don’t all write one), because we are all going to die.

But we won’t all lose mental capacity (for whatever reason) during our lives. So why might Lasting Powers of Attorney be an even *more* important part of your life planning, than a Will?

If someone dies without a Will, the law decides what happens to their money and property. There might be court cases to challenge this, maybe not everyone is happy, maybe no-one is happy, but one way or another, within a couple of years things will get sorted out. (Of course writing a Will should prevent this uncertainty).

When someone loses mental capacity however, the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney can massively increase the stress for their family at an already difficult time. They may not have any control over their loved one’s money or care. Perhaps they disagree with Social Services’ decisions about their loved one – well, to get the power to make the decisions themselves is a lengthy and expensive process, with no guarantee of success.

And if the person is for example aged 40, that could be 40-50 years of extra stress for their family. Why would we risk doing that to our families?

Ideally, we will never need a Lasting Power of Attorney. But like insurance, it is better to have it and not need it, than the opposite. And also like insurance, if we need Lasting Powers of Attorney and don’t have them, it is likely too late. Better than insurance though, Lasting Powers of Attorney only need doing once and then ‘last’ for the rest of your life (unless they are cancelled).

So it could be that Lasting Powers of Attorney are even more important than Wills, as their absence could cause even more stress.

If you have been thinking about doing your Lasting Powers of Attorney, get in touch.

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