At a time when health services are facing unprecedented pressures, medics around the world are urging people to make sure they have made their wishes known regarding medical treatment. Boris Johnson’s recent warning to the public that we should be prepared to lose loved ones to coronavirus has kick started discussions about death and end of life care; topics we naturally shy away from.

Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure you have a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs) in place. These documents can bring peace of mind to yourself, your loved ones, and the medical professionals who may need to look after you. Lasting Powers of Attorneys enable chosen individuals to step in and take action when someone loses capacity. The two types of LPAs cover health and welfare, and property and financial affairs

If you don’t have these documents in place, the questions you need to be consider when putting them in place include:

During Lifetime

  • who is best positioned to speak on your behalf;
  • what sort of quality of life would be unacceptable to you (and so would not want life sustaining treatment to be continued);
  • who will need to have access to your bank accounts when you lose capacity, and
  • you will be able to continue paying bills on your behalf.

 

 After Lifetime

  • who do you want to benefit from your assets on your death;
  • are you maximising what your beneficiaries receive on your death by taking advantage of tax exemptions or lifetime planning;
  • legacies to certain family members/friends;
  • charitable bequests, and
  • funeral wishes.

Dhana Sabanathan is a partner at Winckworth Sherwood