Each year it is estimated that thousands of people have an accident or develop conditions that are detrimental to their mental capacity. When you are married to your partner, you may assume that if you need money for your loved one’s medical care, you will be able to go into a bank and request access to their money. However, the only way this can happen is if your partner has a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). If you do not, you will have to go through a long battle through the courts, and when your partner is already going through the stress of you being ill, this is the last thing you need. To make sure you don’t find yourself in this position, the following guide will help you get informed about an LPA.
What is LPA?
If you happen to find yourself in the perilous position where you have suffered from a serious illness or accident such as Alzheimer’s or a car accident, it would mean you are probably in a position where you are unable to care for yourself. Therefore, it would be the job of someone else to manage your finances. The LPA is a legal document that allows you to nominate your partner so you have someone you trust to handle your affairs.
When Does the LPA Become Active?
The mental capacity act which was brought forward in 2005 is the criteria used to assess whether you will be unable to act on your own behalf. The act states that loss of mental capacity is apparent when a person is unable to understand and information which is relevant to a decision, then they will be unable to retain the information for long enough to communicate the decision. If this is proven to be the case, the LPA (if pre-written) will then become active and your partner will make your decision for you.
Why Set One Up?
If you do get to the stage where you are unable to act on your own behalf and still haven’t set up a LPA, then your partner will have to apply to become a ‘deputy’ – which is a very long expensive process. So you can avoid giving your partner this added stress by paying a £110 fee and filling in an online application.
As is the case with many legal documents such as wills or prenuptials, this is something which is never at the forefront of our minds because we’re often too busy loving our lives with the love of our life. However, if you are able to prepare for the moments when life not may be as easy – you will give yourself that extra peace of mind. Not only that, but the most important thing during the difficult times for your partner will be making sure that you are being cared for properly, and if they are having to spend all their time with solicitors or in court, they will be unable to.
Therefore, it is important to look at all your options and make sure that you and your partner are fully protected should the worst happen.