Older borrowers need a lasting Power of Attorney, warn solicitors

Robyn Hall

August 25, 2016

Housing, rental, leasehold, management fees

Moore Blatch solicitors is warning mortgage brokers that all older borrowers, or borrowers carrying their mortgage forward post age 65, should consider having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. 

This follows a recent announcement by the Building Societies Association that more than half its members will now lend to borrowers up to or beyond the age of 80.

Despite the trend towards older mortgage borrowing, Moore Blatch warns that some clients may become unable to manage some, or all, of their financial affairs at some point during their retirement due to physical ill-health or a lack of mental capacity.

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According to the NHS, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and getting other types of dementia increases with age, affecting an estimated one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in every six people over the age of 80.

LPAs allow a person to appoint a third party (attorney) to make decisions about their health & welfare as well as finance and property if they are no longer able to do so themselves. In the context of mortgage borrowing this includes both managing their repayments and the means by which they make those repayments.  Without an LPA the account receiving the rent and/or paying the mortgage may be frozen which could lead to an individual or couple defaulting on their mortgage.

Fiona Heald, partner in the Court of Protection team at Moore Blatch, said: “We would recommend that most people have the security of a Lasting Power of Protection in place, but particularly those who borrow at an older age.

“There is still a general lack of awareness of LPAs and why you might need one.  It is far easier than most people realise to have an LPA drafted by a solicitor and put in place and it is especially important for protecting your assets.”