Welcome to agespace money, the podcast that gives you insight, ideas and perspectives on elderly care and finance.
This podcast is presented to you by Annabel James, Founder of agespace, which is a one-stop online resource for anyone looking after, or caring for, an elderly parent; and Jason Butler, financial wellbeing expert and author of “Money Moments: Simple Steps to Financial Wellbeing”.
This podcast discusses the topic of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document you sign which gives authority to someone else, or to other people, to deal with certain aspects of your health and medical care, and your financial assets, in the event that you lose your mental or physical capacity, or are not otherwise able to authorise the decision yourself, for example, if you are out of the country on business.
Powers of attorney can be lasting or limited:
- Lasting Powers of Attorney are in place for the duration of the rest of your life, until you revoke or replace them.
- Limited Powers of Attorney are where you give authority to someone one to make certain decisions on your behalf, for a specific thing(s), or within a limited time period.
How it works
You appoint 1-2 people who you trust to make certain decisions on your behalf in the event that you lose your mental or physical capacities.
- TIP: If you’re going to do it, do it whilst you don’t need it, when you are thinking clearly and not under pressure. You can do this whilst you are still young.
Many people in families find it difficult to talk about money, or they may feel a sense of loss of control if they have always managed the family’s financial assets to date, but it’s important to have this discussion with your family members.
There are two key areas for which you can grant an LPA; These are for:
- Your Financial and Property Assets;
- Your Health and Wellbeing, and Medical Care – this one is essential.
Jason: I always give the example of Paul Briggs, a 40 year old policeman who was involved in a car accident on his way to work one day. In hospital, the doctors would not take away the feeding tubes, despite Paul having previously told his family that this is what he would have wanted to happen in a situation like this. Eventually, his family had to take the issue to the Court of Appeal. However, this could have been avoided if Paul had had an LPA in place for his wife or family members to make these types of decisions on his behalf.
When setting up an LPA, you can appoint two people, and they either have permission from you to act separately, or together. Having two people provides a good check and balance on decisions affecting your financial assets and medical care.
There are three golden rules when it comes to LPAs:
- Think carefully about who you appoint. This needs to be someone you trust, who you believe will honour your wishes and interests. If you are worried about giving this to a son or daughter, you can appoint another person alongside them to provide a check and balance.
- Decide how wide or narrow you want to make your LPA, i.e. do you only want this to apply when you have lost your capacities to make decisions for yourself, or do you want to grant an “all ski-pass” to designated trusted individuals who can make decisions on your behalf at anytime when you are indisposed?
- If you have a Finance and Property LPA, and have an investment portfolio being managed by someone else, you need to grant specific powers in order to delegate investment and custody of your assets to a third party nominee and investment manager, in the event that you can no longer instruct the person managing your assets. So, if you want someone else, such as your children, to be able to step in to manage your assets in a situation like this, you will need to grant them ‘delegated investment manager nominee services’.
- TIP: Make sure that someone else also has access and control of your digital assets, e.g. social media channels.
What is a Deputyship?
This is where you apply to the Court of Protection to request Deputyship of someone’s affairs where they have lost capacity. The Judge can then rule in favour or against the request. However, if you want choice and control over who will manage your assets when you can’t, it’s better do this by putting in place an LPA.
If you’ve enjoyed this episode, and it’s been useful, please do rate and review us, so that more people can find us. You can listen and subscribe to agespace money on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts, by clicking on the ‘subscribe’ button. You can find lots more information about some of the issues we’ve talked about, and all the things we do, at agespace.org. Do join our forums or suggest ideas for topics to discuss at agespace.org. There are more additions of the agespace money podcast about funding care; equity release; legal powers of attorney; and getting yourself financially organised.