Stroke Awareness Month

Having a stroke can be life-changing and statistics from the Stroke Associations state that around 100,000 people have strokes each year in the UK. The month of May is stroke awareness month with the main focus being on raising awareness of issues relating to stroke research and recovery. Strokes can be sudden and one possible consequence can be the loss of capacity. An LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) can become crucial if capacity is lost and allows you to maintain some control over your life even when capacity has been lost.

What is an LPA?

The creation of a LPA allows you to plan ahead in case the donor (the person applying) does lose capacity because of a stroke or any other reason. An LPA is a legal document that allows the donor to appoint one or more people to be attorneys to make the decisions for the donor  when they lose capacity. In England and Wales, we have two types of LPA. The first type of LPA being for health and welfare and the second being for financial decisions.  You may choose to do just one of these LPAs or both.

Why make an LPA?

We would highly recommend making an LPA and have listed some of the many reasons below.

One reason for creating an LPA is you can directly choose your attorneys. In your LPA you can choose the exact people you would like to be your attorneys and these are the people that will make the decisions on your behalf if you were to lose capacity. For example, it is common for people to choose spouses, siblings or children as their attorneys. In the LPA you can choose one or more attorneys as long as they are over 18.

Furthermore, the disadvantage of not making an LPA is decisions may be made by people who have no personal connection to the donor. For example, if no LPA is made then relatives may have to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship which can be a pricey and time-consuming process. The Court of Protection will attempt to act in your best wishes but they would not be privy to your own personal wishes on how you want your affairs to be organised and who you would want to be appointed as Deputy. A stroke can cause a sudden loss of capacity and may not allow time to make an LPA because the creation of an LPA requires the donor to have capacity. Therefore, it is best to try and make an LPA earlier to avoid the time and expense of a Court of Protection application.

We would also recommend creating an LPA because it allows you to state your preferences and instructions clearly to your attorneys in contrast to the Court of Protection. Here, you can put in written instructions and preferences for your attorneys to follow. For example, instructions might include looking after your investments, selling your home, or a personal instruction such as looking after your pets if you lose capacity.

In addition, another important advantage of an LPA is that you can choose how your attorneys act in the LPA. For example, you may choose to have your attorneys act jointly or severally. Therefore, attorneys can either make decisions separately or together. One example of this could be if one attorney was in hospital then the other could continue to make the decisions. However, in the LPA you would also have the choice to have your attorneys act jointly. This would mean the attorneys would need to both approve a decision and work together and one could not make a decision without the others approval.

How Hubbard Pegman & Whitney can help you

Overall, we would highly recommend creating an LPA because they allow the people you trust to act on your behalf and enact your wishes even after you have lost capacity. A stroke can be very sudden and life-changing and an LPA will help best prepare you and allow those you trust to look after you’re financial and health affairs in the way you would wish.

At Hubbard Pegman & Whitney we have a dedicated team of solicitors ready to help you in creating an LPA that best suits your needs and wishes. If you would like to speak to a solicitor about your or your loved ones needs please contact us on the link below:-

Outi Hubbard   Senior Partner      oh@hpwsolicitors.co.uk    Tel 0208 735 9771

Ana Gonzalez    Solicitor Partner  ag@hpwsolicitors.co.uk     Tel 0208 735 9785

Sumer Rana      Solicitor                 sr@hpwsolicitors.co.uk      Tel 0208 735 9778

 

 


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