David’s story — The importance of making a lasting power of attorney
What legal advice and support is available for David, or someone in a similar situation?
Out Together is a charity that unites LGBT+ generations, working to create a diverse, vibrant and enduring community which will overcome the cultural and social barriers which can prevent us celebrating our old age with dignity.
David is 74 and now lives alone. For over 40 years he had lived with his partner Jon and they had been inseparable. Sadly, Jon died after a short illness last year.
David wants to know what he can do to “put his affairs in order” as he is not close with his family and is concerned as to what might happen and who would make decisions if he became ill.
In this situation, David should make Lasting Powers of Attorney. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document whereby someone is appointed to make decisions for someone else if a time ever comes when that person cannot make decisions alone. There are two different types — one covering financial matters and one covering health.
David can choose who to appoint as his attorney and that could be a trusted friend rather than his legal next of kin. If David ever lost capacity, the attorney would be able to operate David’s bank accounts, pay his bills and could even sell his house if that became necessary to help cover the costs of his care. The attorney could also liaise with social services and David’s doctor to ensure that he was getting the appropriate level of treatment if he was too unwell to make those decisions himself.
David should also make or review his will. He has gone through a fundamental change in circumstances, and he may want to consider how his plans and wishes have changed as a result. David should think about where he would like his assets to go on his death and may prefer to benefit his friends and his favourite charities rather than his relatives. By making a will David can choose who would be in charge of administering his estate and he would be able to specify his funeral wishes and leave specific gifts of his personal possessions.
Meeting up with a solicitor and discussing these matters will enable David to be aware of the options available to him so that he can be assured that he covered all that he can and have peace of mind for the future.
"We are aware that many older members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t have anyone close enough that they can trust to help them navigate the complexity of legal and professional services that we all may need in later life. Working with Weightmans we are happy that they can offer this impartial and expert support."
If you, or your friends or family, have been affected by any the issues in David's story, please do not hesitate to contact our power of attorney lawyers.
Out Together is a welcoming and inclusive intergenerational group supporting older LGBT+ people based in Yorkshire. To help members keep well, have fun and stay connected, the charity coordinates regular social activities and events, and provides tele-friending support.