Posted by James McNeile, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Court cases highlight need for LPAs
Around 12,000 families a year are running up legal bills and facing delays in sorting out financial and health issues when their relatives become incapacitated, according to newly published research.
Over-55s financial specialist Key Retirement Solutions analysed government figures and found there had been an average of 11,848 applications a year to the Court of Protection over the past three years to appoint deputies to make financial or health decisions for incapacitated people.
Court action could be avoided by putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which enables the person making them to appoint trusted relatives or advisers to look after their financial and healthcare affairs when they no longer have the mental capacity to do so.
There are two types of LPA available – a property and financial affairs LPA, covering money and property matters, and a health and welfare LPA covering healthcare decisions.
LPAs are becoming more popular with the number of applications growing from 80,000 a year in 2007, when they were launched, to more than 250,000 in 2013.
Without an LPA, families may need to make applications to the Court of Protection, with all costs taken from the estate of the person who has lost capacity.
Dean Mirfin of Key Retirement Solutions said:“Applications for LPAs are growing rapidly but substantial numbers of families or friends still end up having to go to court to sort out finances and welfare issues for loved ones.
“LPAs should be regarded just the same as wills and be part of all people’s planning for later life and the risks of incapacity that unfortunately that brings.”
An LPA is a useful insurance policy against a time when we can no longer make decisions for ourselves, and need to pass the responsibility on for issues such as paying our bills or making healthcare decisions to people we trust.
An LPA must be put in place while the person making it still has the mental capacity to do so, although it may never be used, it is a sensible move to take the necessary steps at an early stage, and it certainly makes sense to do so when making or updating a will.
Our experts at Royds have extensive knowledge and experience of helping clients to plan for their future and ensure they have the measures in place to protect their estates and their chosen beneficiaries, whether by way of creating a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare or for financial affairs. For more information, please visit or contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.