No one expects the worst, and yet tragedy can strike at any time. Although we live in a world where there have been tremendous advances in modern medicine, and the average life expectancy continues to rise, there are still many diseases that have no cure. We also live in a world where a wide variety of accidents can happen, which can leave a person either physically or mentally incapacitated, and possibly both.
In these unsettling scenarios, the person who has not prepared themselves for this eventuality may be putting their entire family at risk. If they are not in a mental state that allows them to think clearly, or even make some basic decisions, they need to have provided in advance for someone they trust the power to do so.
In most countries of the world, the law allows for someone to grant a power of attorney to someone else, giving them the ability to conduct their affairs for them. In England, this is typically referred to as a Lasting Power Of Attorney, otherwise commonly referred to as an LPA. It could be a spouse, a close family relative, or could even be a childhood friend or business associate. The important thing is that the person that is designated should be expected to make rational decisions, as if they were the disabled person themselves. That is why choosing the right person to whom one will grant an LPA is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
Depending on the nature of the relationship, the decision may be easy to make, or it may require some thought and soul-searching. There is a lot at stake riding on this decision, so it must be taken very seriously.
You Are Trusting Somebody with Your Life and Your Family’s Welfare
The person that you choose when granting an LPA will hold both your fate and that of your immediate family in their hands. If a situation arises where you are no longer able to manage your affairs, they will take over that role for you. They will ensure that your family has access to all of your assets, that all the household bills get paid, and that your investments remain secure.
By granting an LPA, you are actually placing a formidable burden on this person, and you obviously have to discuss the issue with them in detail beforehand. You must be confident that they will have time, energy and willingness to perform all of the duties contemplated in the LPA, and that this may continue for several years.
If you have been injured, and require constant medical care, this person will literally hold your life in their hands. They alone will have the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf, some of which could have life or death implications. When granting the LPA, you will want to discuss any potential medical options that might arise with them, so that they can fully accommodate your wishes.
No One Said It Would Be Easy
It is very important to think about granting a power of attorney to someone you absolutely trust while you still have the mental capacity to do so. It is not necessarily an easy task, nor is it something that most people want to focus on. And yet, your future welfare and that of your family rests on this very important decision, so choose wisely.
About the Author: Mike is a US-based lifestyle writer covering the latest trends in modern society, and all of its implications, including power of attorney. He writes on a freelance basis for many of the major lifestyle blogs.