Could this be YOU? 7 common myths about LPAs;

  1. I am too young to have an LPA…

In ideal world everyone over the age of 18 would have an LPA in place.  The reason for it is harsh but true: we simply don’t know what’s around the corner.

Although having an LPA is not mandatory, it probably should be.

Let’s think about it for a minute.  If you drive a car, you are legally required to hold a valid car insurance policy.  This is because accidents can happen to any of us; the 18-year-olds and the 80-years-olds.  Agreed?  I thought so.

If accidents can happen to any of us and at any given time, then it is logical to conclude that insuring yourself against the unwanted consequences of such accidents makes a lot of sense.

We think of an LPA as an insurance policy (with a sweet added bonus of just one single payment that lasts for a lifetime).  LPAs allow you to relax in the knowledge that your affairs will continue to flow smoothly even if (for whatever reason) you are unable to tend to them yourself.

I had a client (Mrs K)  who I represented by making an application to the Court of Protection to allow Mrs K to assist her 23 year old son, Luke who suffered life changing injuries in a horrific car accident.  All that Mrs K wanted was to be able to access her son’s  accounts, pay his bills and claim benefits for him,  but she was unable to do so because of the lack of Lasting Powers of Attorney.  Luke’s accounts were frozen and she could not get through to any institutions or a banks without the valid LPA.  The legal process involved because of the absence of an LPA in this case took almost a year and cost Mrs K a lot in terms of stress and added costs.  We obtained the relevant Court Order for Mrs K to assist Luke eventually but she was close to her breaking point by then. The entire painful and lengthy process could have been easily avoided if Luke had an LPA in place.  Mrs K could really have done without such immense stress and expense on top of everything else she had to deal with following her son’s accident.  She later told me that she wished she knew more about LPAs and that she didn’t understand why there was so little awareness of them.  Mrs K told me that she thought LPAs were only for the elderly but I told her as I tell you, they are a basic insurance policy everyone over 18 should consider.  She has since “insured” herself and successfully persuaded the rest of her family members to do the same.

If you are in a situation whereby it is too late to obtain an LPA and going through the Court of Protection is a necessity, please give us  call.  Here at My Local Solicitor Ltd. we will be able to help.

2. My family will take care of me…

This false premise is slightly linked with the one described above. If you are over 18 the “my family will take care of me” statement  simply  isn’t enough.  You need to make your wishes clear in an LPA otherwise your nearest and dearest will not be allowed to make any important decisions about your finances or welfare.  Instead, they will have to apply (like Luke’s mum) to the Court of Protection for a relevant order to be made.  This is a much more lengthy, complex and expensive procedure.

3. All my money is in joint accounts so I don’t need an LPA for my finances…

Wrong. Without an LPA your joint account could be frozen leaving your spouse/ partner unable to access it.  This is because the law is designed to protect vulnerable people from fraud and financial abuse.  On balance this is a good thing as it protects those who can’t fend for themselves, but on the other hand it stops many well-meaning and honest people from assisting their loved ones with their most basic financial needs, such as paying their bills.

4. I have been diagnosed with dementia, so its too late…

Not necessarily.  Here at My Local Solicitor Ltd. we are experienced in dealing with clients diagnosed with the first stages of dementia.  We also run several free drop in clinics when people with dementia could obtain free legal advice on the matter.  Please contact us for further details.  As long as you fulfil the criteria in relation to the requirement of mental capacity when providing us with your instructions we will be able to assist you in obtaining LPAs.

5. It’s too complicated, I don’t have time for this…

Okay…the forms are rather lengthy and not knowing answers to all your legal questions could make the process of applying for LPAs rather daunting.  This is why at My Local Solicitor Ltd. we are committed to making the whole process as smooth as possible for you.  One of our fully qualified solicitors will visit you wherever you are, at a time to suit you.  The appointment usually takes less than one hour but we can stay as long as you need.  We then go away and draft your bespoke applications, provide the relevant certificates, and correspond with the Office of the Public Guardian on your behalf: so you don’t need to.  Upon completion of the forms, we forward to you the registered documents for safe keeping.  It is that easy.  Let us do the hard work so you can relax in the knowledge that your ducks are being put in order.

6.  I don’t need a solicitor…

If you are going to pay for someone to prepare your LPAs, make sure he or she is a qualified solicitor.  You don’t want to waste your money on a badly drafted LPA which could cause you more problems than it’s worth.  Here at My Local Solicitor Ltd. you will only ever deal with experienced solicitors that have your best interest at heart.  We are regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and, of course, fully insured.  As solicitors, we are also legally authorised to provide the necessary certificate confirming the Donor’s  mental capacity.  Many people choose solicitors to act because they do not wish to be “seen” as putting any kind of pressure on a person making the LPA .  They welcome an independent and unconnected professional to investigate the matter, provide sound legal advice and prepare the LPAs accordingly.

7. It’s to expensive, I cant afford it…

Bespoke specialist advice that you can trust doesn’t have to be costly.  Here at my Local Solicitor Ltd. we are on a mission to provide an altogether better access to properly drafted Wills and LPAs.  Please check our fee chart, you will be pleasantly surprised.

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