The new BBC drama Care staring the brilliant Sheridan Smith aired on Sunday telling the story of a family struggling to cope with the effects of their mother (Mary) suffering an acute stroke which results in loss of capacity, both physically and mentally.
While the show takes us through the emotional trauma and turmoil in placing a parent into care. One question raised during an early hospital assessment is whether or not Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are in place.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that allows an individual to appoint people of their choosing to take over the conduct of their financial affairs and also their health and welfare decisions when they are no longer in a position to do so for themselves.
Unfortunately, this had not been considered by Mary and as capacity is required in order to prepare such a document, Mary’s two daughters were having to take the much more timely and expensive route of applying to the Court of protection in order to take over the conduct of their mother’s affairs.
One thing we say to our clients is that a Lasting Power of Attorney is something you make, put it in a safe place and hope that it will never be needed. But as witnessed in this heartbreaking drama, the future is unknown to anyone.
Although this compelling show saw a sudden loss of capacity for Mary if you or a family member have been diagnosed with an illness such as early onset dementia where capacity may fluctuate. It is not too late to act in preparing for the future. If your doctor is able to confirm that you to have the necessary capacity to understand the document then you will be in a position to prepare a LPA.
If you would like to know more about Lasting Powers of Attorney or even applications to the Court of Protection, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our dedicated Private Client team.