In light of recent Which? research, which shows that there is widespread confusion about how the LPA power of attorney system works, Nicholas Hamilton, Charted Financial Planner at Mazars highlights the reasons why he believes its so important to make sure your clients don’t overlook this key aspect of the financial planning process.
Nicholas Hamilton, Chartered Financial Planner at Mazars, commented: “Conversations about LPAs are often met with surprise. Clients who consider themselves to be young, fit and healthy often don’t think they need an LPA agreement but this is a common misconception. LPAs are one of the most important legal documents an individual should have in place – mental incapacity can come about at any time, any age, regardless of underlying health conditions. And knowing the individuals you trust, who understand your circumstances and wishes, are able to make decisions on your behalf can be extremely reassuring. They should form the foundation of financial planning.
“There can also be a lack of understanding around not having an LPA in place, in so far as expecting that spouse’s or other relatives can still make some of the decisions. It can be complex to apply for Deputyship through the Court of Protection, when LPAs are not in place, as well as costly and time consuming.
“This is why we encourage all our clients, regardless of age or health, to put LPAs in place. While it may seem premature to those that consider themselves to be young, fit and healthy, doing so well ahead of time has no impact the financial decisions people want to make now. There are virtually no disadvantages.
“Work does need to be done to improve the current system and encourage more people to put this cornerstone of financial planning in place. LPAs can offer much needed peace of mind at what can be a highly stressful and emotionally charged time for people and their loved ones.”