Ian Sydenham at FDR Law discusses why a Lasting Power of Attorney is not just for the elderly
Q: My teenage son is about to go travelling for a year overseas, it has been suggested that he prepares a Lasting Power of Attorney. Why would he need this?
A: Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are legal documents which allow another person to make decisions about your wellbeing and/or financial affairs on your behalf. Appointing an attorney before you actually need one can give you peace of mind that your affairs will be managed as you would wish.
Some people choose to create Powers of Attorney as they age, perhaps if they are concerned about illness or loss of mental capacity and want to have the assurance that their loved ones can act on their behalf if necessary; for example when dealing with the bank. Often the people chosen would be adult children, a partner or other relative.
However, there are other reasons to appoint attorneys. In your son’s case he will be travelling for a period of time aboard and may not be able to stay in easy contact with his bank, health and travel insurance companies or phone provider. An LPA would enable you to handle any queries, payments or issues on his behalf.
To be valid, LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. A solicitor would be able to advise you on the best type of LPA to meet your son’s needs and could also assist with completion of the paperwork and registration.