Are Lasting Powers of Attorney just for the Elderly?

The Rising Importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney for the Younger Generations.

Many adults mistakenly believe that Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) only become necessary when they reach an older age. However, this misconception overlooks the importance of having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place to ensure that one’s affairs are managed in accordance with their wishes in circumstances of unexpected accident or illness at any stage of life.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is legal document that allows an individual, known as the donor, to appoint one or more people (attorneys) to manage their affairs if they lose the capacity to do so. There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:

  1. Property & Financial Affairs – This allows your attorneys to make decisions in relation to money and property. This would include managing bank accounts, paying bills, property management, investing money and financial planning.
  2. Health and Welfare – This allows your attorneys to make decisions regarding personal welfare such as over medical treatment, care arrangements and for daily living.

Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney Important for Younger Individuals?

Unexpected Accidents and Illness – Accidents and illnesses can strike anyone unexpectedly, impacting even young and healthy individuals. Young people are not immune to events that can stop them from handling their own affairs. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney can provide benefits for both short-term and long-term situations. For instance, if an individual is recuperating in a hospital, their appointed attorney can manage their financial matters until they recover fully.

Control – A Lasting Power of Attorney allows individuals to have control over who will make decisions on their behalf. An LPA allows an individual to provide preferences for factors that they would like their attorneys to consider when making a decision on their behalf. Individuals can also provide mandatory instructions. In recent years, the younger generations have increasingly taken more autonomy over their health due to the greater access to information and technology and recognition of the importance of preventative care. A Lasting Power of Attorney ensures that one’s preferences and values are respected and critical decisions are left in trusted hands.

Financial Management – A Lasting Power of Attorney provides a safety net that can guarantee affairs are always managed competently. Younger individuals with substantial assets may benefit from an LPA as they can appoint a professional to manage these. Such individuals be focussed on their careers or studies and so do not have the time to dedicate to managing their investments actively. An attorney can oversee complex transactions or investment strategies to ensure the individual’s finances are handled in their best interest. Additionally, appointing someone skilled in financial planning to manage budgets, savings and expenses fosters better long-term financial health which is crucial for future financial opportunities such as loans and mortgages. 

Peace of Mind – With the unpredictability of life, a Lasting Power of Attorney acts a legal safeguard that provides peace of mind by ensuring that an individual’s financial, health and personal affairs will be managed by a trusted person if they are incapacitated. Knowing that your best interests will be upheld reduces anxieties about future uncertainty.

In Summary

Lasting Powers of Attorney are imperative for people of all ages including the young, fit and healthy. They provide a safeguard against unexpected accidents or illnesses an ensure that trusted individuals manage their affairs according to their wishes. By establishing an LPA, younger individuals can secure their financial stability, maintain control over important decisions, and enjoy peace of mind.

If you would like more information, or to start setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact us to speak to a member of our Private Wealth & Inheritance Team.

Graeme Black
Partner, Private Wealth & Inheritance
View profileContact Us

This reflects the law and market position at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought in relation to a specific matter.

Latest Legal Insights

Best Law Firms 2024

Herrington Carmichael has once again been named in the Times Best Law Firms. We were first listed in 2023 and have once again made the Best Law Firms list for 2024.

Best Law Firm 2024