Harrison Drury’s Irene Chenery highlights the advantages of having arrangements in place so that a trusted person can deal with your personal affairs if you are self-isolating during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.
We all know that we should make a will and about 40 per cent of people in the UK do in fact have one. But a will only deals with our affairs after death. What happens if you want or need help with your affairs as you are simply unable to manage them yourself?
Making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and appointing people that you trust to be honest and competent to manage your affairs, if you become unable to manage them yourself, is a very wise piece of housekeeping. This is even more relevant now, during the COVID-19 crisis. You may be perfectly capable mentally to deal with your property and financial affairs but are powerless to do so as you are self-isolating.
Managing your property and finances during self-isolation
An LPA could manage your affairs during lockdown and self-isolation. Even if you appointed LPAs some years ago with the intention they would support you if you lost the mental or physical capacity to look after your affairs, these arrangements could still be applicable to you now, during self-isolation.
By appointing LPAs you will also have the peace of mind that you have given a trusted person the legal status to deal with medics, doctors and social services on your behalf if you find yourself unable to make these decisions yourself.
If you lose the ability to manage your own affairs and have no LPAs in place, the only alternative is a deputyship Order from the Court of Protection. This is a long, expensive and time-consuming procedure. It is also important to note that these orders rarely, if ever, include health and welfare issues.
How to make Lasting Powers of Attorney
If you are self-isolating, you can make LPAs at home by using the government toolkit or you can enlist the help of a solicitor. It is highly recommended that you appoint a specialist accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly to provide the necessary guidance to prepare and register these vital documents.
The Office of the Public Guardian that deals with the registration of Powers of Attorney is currently experiencing delays due to a high volume of enquiries and registrations with limited resources to manage them. With no indication yet to an end date for people in self-isolation, if you believe you may need help to manage your affairs during the coronavirus crisis, we strongly advise you start the process to prepare LPAs as soon as possible.
Harrison Drury’s private client team, which includes specialists accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly, can assist you in preparing your LPAs. To discuss your requirements or to review your existing LPAs please call our team on 01772 258321.