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Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is for Everyone, Not Just the Elderly

December 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM

There are many good reasons to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and this is why I am glad we made one for my dad, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers:

Dad - 3 Years Ago
Russell Hames (Bill) - 3 Years Ago
Dad - 3 Weeks Ago
Russell Hames (Bill) - 3 Weeks Ago

Russell Hames (Bill) is my step-dad. He was 55 years old when my mum noticed that his memory was not what it used to be. I made excuses for him. This big, strong man had been a Police Officer. He was my “go to” person in a crisis. He had a sharp mind, a keen sense of humour and busy and active social life. I reasoned there must be another cause for what was happening rather than what my mum was thinking.

Sadly in 2012 at the age of 62 he was diagnosed with vascular dementia. By 2014 he could not speak in full sentences, he could not find his words, he could no longer drive and his personality had changed dramatically. By 2015 he was not able to look after himself at all, he was angry and surly most of the time and had become paranoid and untrusting. He would not sleep and would keep my mum awake all night and demand her immediate and continual attention day and night.

One morning in late 2015 he got up and something had changed overnight. He was territorial and did not want anyone in the same room as him. My mum called me to come over and shortly after that his friend Gary arrived to take him out for the day as he often did. My dad insisted that he leave the apartment immediately, closely followed by my mum. He let me in but subsequently insisted that I leave also. He then put all of mum’s belongings in a bin and refused to let us in. This standoff lasted 10 hours with me and my mum sitting outside in the car and my dad in the apartment, not letting us in whilst we waited for help to come from the relevant authorities.

Overnight my dad had lost the capacity to make any decisions for himself. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act that day. Had we not planned ahead and put a LPA in place we would not have known what he wanted, we would not have been able to honour his wishes and my mum would not have been able to pay her bills, keep her car on the road or fund my dad’s needs. We did not know that his disease could or would change him overnight and if we had not had a LPA in place for his Health & Welfare and Financial Affairs, it would have been even more of a nightmare than it already was. Having a LPA in place does not make this experience any less painful but it does make dealing with practical things easier at a difficult and distressing time.

There are many good reasons to make a LPA that might be more personal to you. Here are just a few:

• According to the Alzheimer’s Society by 2025 there will be more than 1 million people in the UK that have dementia and 1 in 5 people over the age of 85 already have it.

• It enables you to decide who handles your financial and health affairs when you can no longer do so. This means that you are in control and you can appoint someone that you trust.

• Without a LPA handling your financial affairs, if you become incapacitated or lose mental capacity, becomes virtually impossible.

• If you do not have a LPA in place and you become incapacitated your loves ones face a lengthy and expensive delay and will have to apply to the Court of Protection to get permission to take control of your assets and finances.

• Having a LPA in place eases the burden on your loved ones at an already difficult and upsetting time.

• If you have a health and welfare LPA in place you will have your say and make your wishes clear regarding the treatment you do or do not want in certain circumstances. You have a voice even when your voice has gone.

There are two types of LPA:

Property & Financial Affairs

• This gives your attorneys the power to:

• Access your money to pay your bills

• Manage your bank accounts, for example to set up and cancel direct debits, etc

• Deal with the rental or sale of your property to help with your care costs if necessary

• Manage your investments

• Maintain your pension and benefits

• Your attorney will have the same access that you had to your property interests and financial affairs and it is therefore imperative that you appoint attorneys that you trust.

• If you wish, a property and financial affairs LPA can be used before you lose mental capacity, for example if you are injured or disabled and unable to get out to collect your pension, do your banking etc.

Health & Welfare

• This gives your attorneys the power to:

• Make decisions about your daily routine, what you will wear, what you will do, what you will eat etc.

• Your attorney can make decisions about your medical care. They can make sure that your wishes are passed on to your treating medical professionals. If you do not want to be resuscitated and do not want any heroic measures if you stop breathing for example, your attorney can ask for a “do not attempt resuscitation order” to be put in place. They can ask for certain medication to be withdrawn with a doctor’s consent. Any health decisions that you could make for yourself they can make for you.

• They can decide where you will live, what kind of care you will have and whether this will be at home or in a care home. You can put restrictions in the document regarding what your attorneys can do. You can include guidance on how you want decisions to be made and what your wishes are should you lose mental capacity. A health and welfare LPA can only be used once you have lost mental capacity to make those decisions for yourself.

Contact Spencers Solicitors today if you would like to know more about making a LPA. It is never too early to consider it.


About the Author

Samantha Ibrahim Photo

Samantha Ibrahim is a Chartered Legal Executive within Spencers Solicitors Private Client Team. Samantha’s main focus is on the provision of Wills and Probate services.

In addition to drafting Wills and providing advice on the administration of estates, Samantha is also able to obtain letters of administration, grant of probate, advanced decisions, lasting power of attorney and Court of Protection Deputyship.

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An "award-winning" month for Spencers Solicitors

November 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

November has been a busy month here at Spencers with highlights including a fundraising event and much esteemed recognition in two award categories.

Our very own Lucy Rose received the Apprentice of the Year Award in the Derbyshire Times Business Awards which were held at the Casa Hotel on the 10th of November 2016. Lucy’s Manager, Janet Guerriero, attended the awards ceremony and commented:

“This is a great award category and Lucy is very deserving of this recognition. Well done Lucy”
Kelly Pashley-Handford presenting cheque to Ashgate Hospicecare

On the 18th of November, to build on previous fundraising events throughout the year, we were pleased to hold a coffee morning in support of Ashgate Hospice. Other local businesses, clients, friends & family were invited into the office to share in the festivities with the aim of raising as much money as possible.

The event was a great success with an expertly fashioned photo booth and an extensive drinks menu receiving much acclaim. A total of £615.00 was raised and a mountain of cake was also donated to Ashgate’s fabulous Christmas Market which took place the following day.

Our Managing Director, Rob Landman, commented “It’s great to be involved in fundraising to support such a precious local facility. This brings the total funds raised for Ashgate this year to £1765.00, and I would really like to thank everyone who contributed and worked so hard to make the event such a success”.

Later the very same day, the business received recognition as one of the happiest businesses as part of the National Laughology Awards. Spencers placed second in the happiest business category. Stephanie Davies, the founder of Laughology, commented We received hundreds of entries and to come second in the country for the Happiest Business really is a great achievement.

Laughology Awards - Happiest Business

In summary, November has been a great month and the team should be really proud of what they have achieved.


About the Author

Kelly Pashley-Handford Photo

Kelly Pashley-Handford is an experienced and CIPD qualified Human Resources (HR) Manager with extensive generalist and operational HR expertise, which is further supplemented by over 20 years with the business.

Kelly finds her role incredibly rewarding and is passionate about delivering a diverse range of HR solutions both internally and to external business clients.

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Statutory Maternity and Sick Pay - 2017/18 Rates Announced

November 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The Government has published the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay from April 2017.

The current weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, adoption paternity pay, shared parental pay is £139.58, or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate. From April 2017 the rate will increase to £140.98 per week.

Money

The rates normally increase each April in line with the consumer price index (CPI). A 0.1% fall in the CPI in the year to September 2015 meant that there was no increase to the rates in April 2016. The rates have been frozen since 5 April 2015.

However, the CPI has increased by 1% in the year to September 2016, which is reflected in the rates for 2017/18.

“Their publication well in advance of April 2017 will help employers to plan their budgets for 2017/18, and to prepare amendments to their policies and documents on family-friendly benefits for April 2017.”

The rate of statutory sick pay is also increasing from £88.45 to £89.35. This increase is expected to occur on 6 April 2017.To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit. The lower earnings limit is increasing from £112 to £113 in April 2017.


About the Author

Philip McCabe Photo

Philip McCabe is an experienced employment lawyer who has been advising businesses and individuals on a wide range of employment and HR issues since 2000.

He is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Industrial Law Society, and Law Society. He regularly writes for national publications on employment law issues and is a regular columnist in the Derbyshire Times.

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