Lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal agreement between two people stating that should the main party become incapable of mitigating for themselves, their power of attorney will take the helm. This agreement concerns everything from care and lifestyle decisions right through to control over estates and finances.
If someone asks you to be their power of attorney, it can feel like a huge responsibility, and you may wonder how you can put it to the best possible use. Here, we’re going to look at three LPA musts that can help you uphold this agreement and stay sane in the process.
# 1 – Take ample time to understand their needs
Upholding an LPA means understanding precisely what your loved one would do in a situation, which can be an incredibly difficult task. With this in mind, if you’re able to have a conversation while that person is still of sound mind, it’s worth asking what they would like from every eventuality. Get this in writing so that you can refer back and, thus, make sure you’re doing the right thing. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to gain this insight in advance, remember what you know of that person, and always try to make decisions based on their wants rather than yours.
# 2 – Always seek advice
It’s easy to feel like an LPA rests solely on your shoulders, but that isn’t the case. While you may want to avoid asking friends or family members for advice in case of conflicting interests, countless professionals can provide an unbiased legal standpoint.
In the first place, an LPA has to be made with a solicitor, and they should be your first port of call should you find yourself uncertain. Remember, too, that accountants can help you to get that person’s financial affairs in the best possible order. Even if you’re worried about welfare or care, caregivers are on-hand to listen, while hardworking nursing home abuse attorneys can assist you if you’re concerned about the caregivers themselves. In other words, there’s a professional, unbiased helping hand at every turn, and they’re guaranteed to see you doing your best for your loved one at all times.
# 3 – Keep your position to yourself
LPA is an understandably loaded topic and can lead to countless family arguments as people disagree on what’s best or even make allegations that you aren’t upholding your responsibilities. That can be really difficult. In light of that, it’s worth remembering that you don’t actually have to tell anyone except a solicitor about your position. If you get the chance, talk to your loved one about whether they’d like you to keep this information to yourself. If you don’t get that opportunity, it may be best to simply keep quiet, and trust the experts alongside your own gut feeling to guide you moving forward.
Undeniably, holding power of attorney can be overwhelming. But, as you can see, you do have the power to get this right.