The importance and peace of mind a Power of Attorney (LPA) can bring to a person and their loved ones has been recently showcased in the national spotlight.
Annie Visser, has spoken publicly about the legal document which enabled her husband to “die with dignity”.
Bradley Visser, 38, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when he crashed his electric skateboard at their Oxfordshire home in July 2019.
He had appointed his wife, his Power of Attorney ~ Health & Welfare (LPAH&W), and in the legal document recorded that if such an event happened, he didn’t want to live with brain damage.
He also set out in the document that Mrs Visser shouldn’t keep him alive if certain “life perimeters” were not met.
Annie Visser said:
“If he couldn’t be a daddy, if he couldn’t go to a rugby match, if he couldn’t provide for his family by working, and if he couldn’t be physically active, he didn’t want to be here.”
The LPAH&W meant Mrs Visser could present the hospital with a legal document stipulating Mr Visser’s wishes, and she, not the hospital, had the power to make life decisions for her husband.
This resulted in Mr Visser’s wishes being carried out, and his life support machine being switched off. He passed away two days later.
Following on from her experience, Mrs Visser is spreading the word of the importance of LPAs. She said:
“It is a document with far more importance than a Will, yet no-one knows of it. That is what I am trying to change. I genuinely think if I didn’t have this piece of paper, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. The guilt of having to make a decision with no background knowledge on what that person genuinely wants is actually worse than the end result. I have been able to be as strong as I have been for myself and for the children purely because every step of the way I feel like I have Brad stood next to me.”
You can create your own LPAs (just like you can create your own Wills) but please consider using the services of a professional for these important documents. One of our consultants met a family this week where the wife had created her own LPAs. She has two children and two stepchildren. She wanted her children to act and her stepchildren to only act if her two children could not act. Unwittingly, she has created the document so that her two stepchildren will act with her children if her husband dies before her and she definitely does not want this. Furthermore, we include extra phrases in our LPAs such as authority regarding financial advisors and providing copies of the Will if needed.
If you would like to meet one of our Consultants and discuss any of the issues raised in this article or any other Estate Planning topic, please telephone 01732 868190 or click here.