Fans of TV serial Emmerdale will have seen the character Faith Dingle navigating difficult times in recent episodes following her cancer diagnosis and contemplation of her end-of-life decisions.
Viewers will have seen Faith discussing her Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) with her palliative care nurse and solicitor, and the episode served as a helpful reminder of the importance of making informed decisions and discussing concerns with experts. It also highlighted how valuable it is to be able to exercise control over your own decisions for as long as possible and to choose who can make those decisions once you are no longer able to.
The law makes it very clear that your attorneys are to act in your best interests and to support you to make your own decisions, in so far as possible, and this allows you to go on living the live you want with the help and support of those you have chosen to assist you.
People are often prompted to make Lasting Powers of Attorney following a “trigger event”, for example an accident or diagnosis, but this is not always the ideal time to make them, as Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before they can be used.
The magic of TV meant that Faith Dingle’s LPAs were completed and registered within days, but the reality is that the OPG is struggling with a huge backlog, with Lasting Powers of Attorney taking more than five months to be registered. Which is a long time to wait if they are needed urgently.